SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - It's that time of year again: getting rid of the Christmas tree.
"The wife wanted it out of the house sooner," said Santa Barbara resident Ashley Transki. "Every year I normally bring it here. It's just an easy one stop shop."
While one way to part with your tree is to take it to a place like the County Transfer Station, there are some important things you need to know so it's properly disposed.
"That includes removing all the ornaments, the lights, any decorations, tinsel," said David Sadecki of the Sarasota County Fire Department.
And we're not just talking about trees.
Make sure to not put wreaths or wrapping paper in your fireplace, and make sure that you take non organic items off before you recycle.
Firefighters say the most important part of tree disposal -- never put tree branches or needles in a fireplace or wood burning stove.
"We've had people do that and actually started a chimney fire in their home and actually caught their attic on fire and then their houses on fire," Sadecki said.
Trees also are usually collected curbside for two weeks after Christmas, so if you leave it to be picked up cut your tree in half so it can fit inside the waste container.
"They want it in 4 foot sections," Sadecki said.
Whatever option you choose, firefighters say just follow these simple tips so you can have a stress-free start to the new year.