Christmas gifts tend to arrive in boxes, one by one, handled gently and wrapped with care.
Those same boxes leave in the days after Dec. 25, smashed, crushed, slashed and mushed, crammed inside a can left beside the road.
In other words, garbage haulers have been busy this past week.
"The Christmas holidays are our biggest weeks of the year," Larry Morris, Aiken's public works director , said Thursday.
He said the weight of Christmas trash isn't as much of a problem as its sheer volume.
"The way the cans are and the way our guys have been hustling, it's definitely our busiest week," he said. "It's been heavy, but we've stayed on schedule."
Lori Videtto, the assistant director of Augusta Solid Waste Department , said her employees have been busy, too.
"We always get a little bit more than usual around the holidays," she said.
According to Ms. Videtto, Christmas trees and other greenery is taken on the first day of trash pickup. Wrapping paper, cardboardboxes and other trash is taken on the second day.
She noted that wrapping paper is not recyclable and should be disposed of in trash can s.
"The main thing is that all of the trash is contained," Ms. Videtto said, going on to suggest that residents bag all of their boxes and holiday trash.
"We don't want wrapping paper flying all over the place," she said.
Reach Gracie Shepherd at (706) 724-0851or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Garbage hauler Anthony Berry loaded up the back of the truck Thursday in Aiken.