The day after wrapping paper is ripped away and boxes torn in to, garbage haulers work double time to take away the holiday aftermath -- so much so that local officials plan ahead on how to deal with the everything tossed into trash bins.
"This is the busiest trash day of the year," Aiken County Administrator Clay Killian said Wednesday.
The county often has to pull in employees from other departments to help its solid-waste workers empty the big bins, which had to be emptied the weekend before Christmas just to accommodate the garbage sure to be tossed in after presents were opened.
"It's a struggle," Mr. Killian said.
The county has just eight garbage trucks, but they probably will have to hit each container more than once Wednesday -- especially because Monday and Tuesday were county holidays, when no garbage was picked up.
Some of the busier trash bin locations might even have an extra box for trash to go into, Mr. Killian said.
Aiken didn't have that problem, although the after-Christmas garbage pickup typically yields four to five more tons of trash than normal, said Bill Martin, of the city's public works department.
"It will be heavy today and the rest of the week," Mr. Martin said Wednesday. "And then next week, it will lighten up a bit. Still be a little heavy because you still got people going to have late Christmas and just put stuff out."
Mr. Killian has decided to wait a few days before emptying his trash -- and only after picking out items that can be recycled.
He said he hoped other residents also chose to recycle what could be reused.
"We'll probably have some sites overflowing today," he said Wednesday.
Staff writer Michelle Guffey
contributed to this article.
Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or firstname.lastname@example.org.