Now that your Uncle Harry gave you a new sofa for Christmas, what do you do with the old one? It's too ugly to give away, and the regular trash collectors won't take it. What do you do?

First of all, the city will take your sofa only if you live in a house or a building with fewer than four units.

If you pass that test, put it out on the sidewalk, call the city and tell officials that the sofa is there. City workers will cart it away for free.

That's simple enough. But that's too easy, you might say.

You're right.

The city picks up bulk trash only one week a month, and the dates are different each month in each neighborhood.

Usually, the city prints a detailed schedule and mails it to District households, but this year the schedules will be mailed late, if at all, because of budget cuts, city officials said.

So what's the owner of an ugly sofa to do?

Call the city at 727-4825 and ask when the bulk trash collectors are coming to your neighborhood.

This week, they will be in Ward 3, Ward 1, Shepherd Park and Brightwood.

Next week, they will be in Ward 5, Capitol Hill Northeast, Brightwood, Manor Park and Riggs Park.

During the third week of January, they will be in Ward 7, Capitol Hill Southeast and Petworth.

The next week, they will be in Ward 8, Ward 2 and the portion of Petworth near the Northeast Boundary.

The last week of January they will be in Ward 3, Ward 1, Shepherd Park, Brightwood and Colonial Village.

Next week, the District Weekly will publish a bulk trash pickup schedule for the entire year.

Put the sofa out before 7 a.m. on the Monday of your collection week.

And don't forget to call the city a week before your scheduled pickup so officials will know where to send the trucks.

Now go ahead. Relax on Uncle Harry's sofa.