xmas tree
A person passes discarded Christmas trees along a sidewalk on Jan. 14, 2014, in New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Whether picking up strewn wrapping paper, putting away all those toys left out or tidying up the kitchen one day after preparing a feast, most people who celebrated Christmas were probably still cleaning up from the holiday in one way, shape or form on Monday. But even after straightening up, another, slowly accumulating mess awaits: the Christmas tree and its constantly shedding needles.

But now that the final holiday of 2016 is in the rear view mirror, the collective question for many of the above is an obvious one: How can I get rid of my Christmas tree?

While regulations vary across the country, hardware giant Lowe's has provided some advice and options for how to at least get the process started for legally discarding Christmas trees.

The first, probably most obvious step, is to strip the Christmas tree of all of its ornaments and decorations. Unless they're being saved for the following Christmas, they should be placed in a recycling bin and not the garbage.

After that, most municipalities provide the free service to residents, who are simply required to bring the Christmas tree outside of their homes and either drop it off on a street curb or take it to a central location for pickup. Residents have been advised to call their local department of sanitation to find out location-specific instructions for where to bring the Christmas trees.

However, it's all in the timing. Those same municipalities offering to pick up discarded Christmas trees only do so for a specific period of time. For example, in New York City, residents who want to get rid of their Christmas trees must leave them on the curb between Jan. 3 and Jan. 14. After that, it is up to residents to take the Christmas trees to the appropriate location for disposal. Municipalities' departments of sanitation should also be able to provide information about when pickups aare scheduled.

For the environmentally conscious person looking to get rid of a Christmas tree, recycling is encouraged. A used Christmas tree makes for a fine batch of mulch, which would come in handy as winter leaves and spring arrives.