2020 Holiday Waste Guide: Service schedule updates and tips to make your holiday a little greener

In observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays, there will be no solid waste collection services on Friday, December 25, 2020, or Friday, January 1, 2021.  All services are affected: trash, recycling, yard trimmings and bulk pickup. Refer to the chart below for your day of scheduled service. 

To report a missed pickup or schedule bulky trash pickup, please contact Waste Management Customer Service at 800-800-5804 or cssatex@wm.com.   


The Woodlands Recycling Center (5402 Research Forest Dr) will remain open. 

  • Every Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. 
  • Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Recycle Holiday Boxes and Wrappings  

If your recycling cart is full, take advantage of special holiday recycling. On the first service day following December 25, 2020 additional cardboard boxes, gift boxes and plain recyclable wrapping paper will be picked up for recycling.  

  • Break down smaller gift and mailing boxes to consolidate into one box.  
  • Put extra paper wrappings in a small box.  
  • Place additional boxes at the curb next to the recycling cart.  

The holiday recycling truck is only for additional recyclables.  

  • DO NOT bag your recyclables. Leave them loose in the box or cart.  
  • NO plastic bags.  
  • NO Styrofoam  
  • NO bubble wrap.  
  • NO ribbon, decorations or Christmas lights.  
  • Failure to follow guidelines will result in items being left at the curb.  

Cut Christmas Tree Recycling – Unflocked Trees Only  

  • Remove tree stand, all decorations and lights.  
  • Place the tree at the curb on your regular service day for collection by the yard trimmings truck.  

Flocked Christmas Tree Disposal  

  • Schedule for bulk pickup by calling Waste Management Customer Service at   
    800-800-5804.  
  • Call at least two working days before your regular service day.  
  • Flocked Christmas trees must be landfilled.  

Extra Trash Bags  

  • Extra bags of trash can be placed on the curb next to your cart.   
  • Each bag must be affixed with a pink extra service tag.   
  • Purchase tags for $1.75 each from The Woodlands Township offices, Kroger (Cochran’s Crossing, Alden Bridge and Sterling Ridge)  
  • Each bag may weigh no more than 40 pounds.  

Quick Tips for a Greener Holiday 

Seasons greetings cards and packages fill our homes and warm our hearts during the holidays. Consider these tips for a greener Christmas and reduce the amount of holiday tidings that end up in the landfill. 

  • Recycle plain wrapping paper and flattened cardboard boxes in your curbside cart. Check out these Recycling Tips for the Online Shopper for help deciphering which items can be recycled and which cannot. 
  • Give a second life to your clean, gently-used clothing, housewares, toys, furniture and appliances by donating to local charitable organizations. Items should be in good, usable condition. Check out The Woodlands Donation Guide for a list of local organizations accepting donations. Many organizations will pick up your items. If you have an item that is not specified in the guide, call first to assure it is accepted. 
  • Find new recycling opportunities for items that cannot be recycled in your curbside cart. Items such as used electronics, batteries, Styrofoam, light bulbs, eyeglasses, mattresses and more can all be recycled locally at participating locations. Check out the Recycle More Guide for a complete list of locations and phone numbers. 
If wrapping paper is metallic, has glitter on it, or has a texture to it, it is not recyclable. Gift wrap mistakenly put in the recycling cart harms the value of other collected paper at the recycling center. Check this Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Guide for sustainable wrapping tips. 

Questions or comments? Email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov

Are your sprinklers turned OFF for winter?

It’s never too late to save water and get your lawn healthy! And those are only two of the benefits of participating in the annual Water Wise Village Challenge.  

Each year The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department challenges residents to stop watering their lawn from mid-October through mid-April. Our St. Augustine yards need to go dormant this time of year in order to develop their root systems; it helps them fight off disease and pests the rest of the year. Irrigating during the cool months prevents this.  

Saving water is a big win. Additionally, when residents pledge, their village gets a point in the competition for scholarship funds. Regardless of which villages win, you can’t lose. Take the pledge, save money, save water and have a healthier lawn. There is no downside for this challenge when you promise not to water turfgrass. How about pledging right now before you forget? You can make your pledge online in just about two minutes HERE. Watch for the results to be announced in May.  

For more information visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/waterconservation or contact Environmental Services: enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov or 281-210-3800. 

It’s Backyard Composting Week!

Composting is natural recycling. Put your yard trimmings and kitchen scraps to work by creating nutrient rich homemade compost in your own back yard. This week the Environmental Services Department is focusing on backyard composting. Whether you are new to composting or have been doing it for years, we’ve got some great tips and resources to help you out.  

Benefits of Composting  

Learn how composting can add value to your home landscape. 

Composting During COVID-19 Fact Sheet 

Home composting is safe even in the current COVID-19 situation.  Find out more from the US Composting Council. 


Beginning Composter  

If you are thinking about composting but haven’t started yet, these resources are just for you. Need a quick start “how to compost” guide? In just a few minutes, National Geographic will teach you how to begin composting at home.

Click the photo above to watch the National Geographic Green Guide

Remember the essentials of composting by using this easy one-page guide from Texas A&M. 


Already Composting   

Learn how to enhance your composting skills with this informative webinar from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. 

Texas A&M’s “do it yourself” guide offers more information on backyard composting. 


Experienced Composter  

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance offers detailed home composting information in this 1.5-hour webinar. 

Compost Bins for Sale

To help you get started with backyard composting, The Woodlands Township is offering high quality collapsible compost bins for only $50. If purchased online, these bins retail for $150-$200. Call The Woodlands Township 281-210-3800, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to purchase.  Bin pick up is available by appointment.  Happy Composting! 

Questions or comments? Email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov

Simple Recycling Cancels Curbside Service in The Woodlands

Automatic curbside pickup of textiles in The Woodlands will end on November 20, 2020. Citing financial impacts from COVID-19, Simple Recycling is ceasing weekly curbside service in The Woodlands as well as similar operations in more than 30 cities and towns across Texas. Since 2017, The Woodlands Township has contracted with Simple Recycling to provide residential curbside collection and recycling of textiles and small household goods.  

Also known as the “Orange Bag Program,” Simple Recycling’s collections diverted over 60 tons of material annually away from the landfill, at no cost to the Township. Currently, no other companies in Texas provide no-call curbside textile collection and recycling.  

Although automatic weekly service has been cancelled, there are several local charitable organizations where you can request curbside pickup or drop off usable textiles and small household goods. For a list of locations and contact information, check out the Donation Guide. Unusable textiles, such as rags or torn or stained clothing, should be placed in the trash or repurposed, never placed in the recycle cart. 

For more information on recycling opportunities in The Woodlands, please contact The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department at 281.210.3800, or by email to enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov

3R Recycling Drive-thru is this Saturday

Celebrate America Recycles Day at this convenient, free one-day recycling event from the comfort and safety of your own vehicle or bicycle on Saturday, November 14, 2020 from 9 a.m. to noon in the parking lot of The Woodlands High School (enter from Millennium Forest Dr). 

This recycling drive-thru event provides opportunities to recycle items that cannot be recycled in curbside carts. Refer to the list below for accepted items and guidelines. Free recycling is for residents only, please no businesses.   

Please note, for the safety of staff, volunteers and residents, the following guidelines are in place. All volunteers and staff will wear face coverings. Participants are required to wear a face covering, as well, while items are being removed from the car. If you don’t have one, we’re happy to provide one. 

This year’s Village Recycling Challenge item is Alkaline AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V batteries. This friendly competition awards funds for scholarships to Villages with the highest participation; funds are donated by The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. Please label your bag/box of batteries with your Village’s name. 

Free 1-Day Drive-thru Recycling  

Bag or box items separately by category and place them in your trunk or rear passengerside seat for safe access by volunteers. A volunteer will open the trunk or rear-side passenger door to remove items. Residents only, no businesses please.   

  • Batteries – Alkaline AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V labeled with village name. 
  • Disposable razors and packaging. See this list for examples. 
  • Eyeglasses, sunglasses and cases  
  • Oral Care Products – Toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and floss containers. 
  • Snack and drink pouches – Any brand with straws and pouch lids. See this list for examples. 
  • Styrofoam block packaging – No food containers or cups. 
  • Textiles – Overly worn clothing, shoes, linens, fabric scraps and other unusable textiles. Please donate any good, usable items to local charities here. 

Document Shredding  

  • Secure on-site document shredding   
  • Residential only - limited capacity (first come, first served)   
  • Recommended donation of 5 cans of food or $5 per box; benefits Interfaith Food Pantry  

Can’t make it to 3R? 

That’s ok! Check out the Recycle More Guide for a list of local recycling opportunities. Remember, if someone else can use these items, donate first

Questions or comments? Email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov