They light up your home bring Christmas cheer and most importantly, they give Santa a place to leave gifts for everyone who's been nice. As much as we may love them, the time comes sooner-or-later to say 'goodbye' to our Christmas trees, but officials say you shouldn't just throw it in the trash.

Now that Christmas is over and the holidays are coming to a close, the Chattanooga Department of Public Works is accepting live Christmas trees at all five recycling centers in the city.

"Well, right now what the city's trying to do is recycle everything. The more we can recycle to get out of the landfill, the better it is for the environment," said Kim Smith, with Chattanooga Public Works.

If you live within the city limits you can bring your tree to one of Chattanooga's recycle centers. Before you take your live tree for recycling, remove all lights and ornaments because the trees are put into a grinder and re-purposed.

"So what they city does is, once we get a good bit of them we'll get the wood recycle center to pick them up, we'll put them through the grinder and use it as mulch," Smith explained.

The mulch can be used for pathways at parks or landscaping at your home. If you'd rather donate your tree, you can give it to habitat sanctuaries and restoration projects.

However, if you're not ready to let go quite yet, fire officials warn Christmas trees can become a hazard in your home.

"Make sure you water it every day up until the day you decide to take it outside. Even if it doesn't have lights or ornaments on it, you need to make sure you're watering it if it's in your home," said Lesley Morgan with the Chattanooga Fire Department.

If you cannot take your tree to a center, public works can pick it up for you. Just call 311 or use the CHATT311 app. Trees will be accepted through the end of this month.