The Director of Solid Waste in Macon-Bibb says the Christmas season is their Super Bowl for trash pick-up, but with people going out of town for several days during the holiday season, how long can you leave your trash bin sitting out in your driveway? We set out to VERIFY if you can receive a ticket for putting your trash can out too early or leaving it out for too long.

Tuesday is trash pickup day for Robert Harden. He takes his trash bin out to the road the night before and brings it in after the trash collector makes their rounds.

But he says not all his neighbors do the same.

"Oftentimes, I see trash cans at the curb a lot. They're not out the day before pick-up, they're not back the day of or after pick-up. They're sometimes at the curb for days and days," Harden said.

So Harden asked us to verify whether you can receive a ticket or citation if you have your trash can out on the street too long?

Director of Macon-Bibb Solid Waste Kevin Barkley says yes.

"The code says we could cite them for it, but most of the time, we explain to people why it needs to be done and they will cooperate and help us out," Barkley said.

Barkley says the department suggests the "7-and-7 rule" for when to put out and bring in your trash cans.

"You should put it out the night before so it's there and ready to go no later than 7 a.m. for us to get out there and start collecting. In the evening time, we want you to pull those in by 7 p.m.," Barkley said.

Barkley says the department doesn't want your property to become what he calls "unsightly" by leaving out your bins for too long.

So we verified, yes, you can be given a ticket or citation if you leave your trash bin out for too long.

Harden says that answer satisfies him and says he's glad to have some guidelines.

"I think that answers my question very nicely," Harden said. "We have a timeline, it's flexible, we're all flexible. I think that's good to know."

Barkley says Solid Waste's biggest problem this time of year isn't people leaving their trash bins out for too long, but the way people leave their trash out.

He says not to stack anything, like gift boxes, on top of your trash container. He says to put items that won't fit in your trash in bags or containers with lids.

We also called Houston County about Harden's question. Robbie Dunbar with the Public Works department said they could issue a citation, but people typically work it out with code enforcement.