5 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2020

As the year draws to an end, we reflect on many things, from the pandemic, to the election, to working from home. 2020 will be a year we won’t easily forget.  It will also be remembered as a year when people reconnected with nature, spending more time outdoors.  Or a year when we found more creative ways to volunteer and give back: sewing masks, virtual fundraisers for great causes, or even sharing a roll of toilet paper with the neighbors. 2020 hasn’t been the easiest year, but there was a lot of hope and positive messages being shared.  Remember all those painted rocks on the pathways?

We want to share some of this year’s highlights from our department. Below are the top 5 most read articles published on The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department Blog in 2020.  Maybe you missed this content the first time around or it’s been months and you would like a refresher. Either way, these top-rated reads are worth a review.

1. Heat Loving Perennials

Many people took advantage of being home this year to work on their gardens.  Maybe you started a vegetable garden, a pollinator garden or just enjoyed getting your hands dirty and being outside. But for anyone who has experienced a Houston summer, you know that the heat can be brutal, especially for your more delicate plants. Instead of watching your plants wilt or running up the water bill, select native plants that thrive in harsh conditions. 

Click the image to view the #1 blog of 2020

2. Venomous Snakes

Texas is home to over 105 different species of snakes. That may send shivers down your spine, but it doesn’t have to: snakes are one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures, posing little danger and playing a vital ecological role including control of pests. Only 3 venomous species reside in our area. If you’re concerned about interactions, take a moment to review our May Creature Feature.

Click the image to view the #2 blog of 2020

3. A Guide to Community Service While Social Distancing

Many community events were reformatted in 2020, including The Township’s annual Earth Day GreenUp.  With the traditional event no longer an option, many residents reached out asking how to participate in volunteer efforts throughout the community while adhering to social distancing guidelines. Luckily, any day is a good day to pick up litter. If your family wants to help keep our community clean while enjoying the outdoors, this guide is worth a read.

Click the image to view the #3 blog of 2020

4. Recycling Dilemma #1005: Take-Out Containers

Restaurants were hit hard in 2020 and many of our favorite places were quick to adjust. From curbside pick up to new delivery options, take-out has become one of the safest ways to satisfy our cravings. But, many are left wondering what to do with all the packaging. We’re here to help, with a simple-to-follow guide for all you take-out connoisseurs.

Click the image to view the #4 blog of 2020

5. Recycling Dilemma #1006 – Online Shopping

Staying home means more shopping online. Avoiding crowds while getting a great deal is just a click away. In 2020 more of us than ever turned to online retailers for everything from paper towels to TVs, and with it came an abundance of packaging in all shapes and sizes: cardboard, packing peanuts, air pillows, Styrofoam and more. We help you solve this recycling dilemma in this quick read.

Click the image to view the #5 blog of 2020

That’s it! Our top 5 most viewed articles for 2020. Check back weekly for new articles and hot topics in 2021. 

The internet is a big place to navigate. If you get lost or distracted easily, sign up to receive a weekly email with the latest from The Woodlands Township Environmental Services. Simply click the button below, enter your email address and be sure to look for a confirmation email.  Once you confirm, you’ll hear from us weekly, or until you decide otherwise.  However you want to manage your subscription, we will be here, creating new content for you to enjoy.

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

3R Drive-thru Results

Woodlands residents saved over 17,000lbs of waste from the landfill at the 3R Drive-thru event.  

The Woodlands Township hosted the 3R Drive-thru on Saturday, November 14, 2020 from 9 a.m. to noon at The Woodlands High School. 750 vehicles drove through the event for free recycling of select items and secure document shredding.  

With the help of local partner organizations, more than 17,000 pounds of material was collected for recycling including 9,547 pounds of shredded paper by Shred It, 5,114 pounds of batteries by U-Waste Recycling Solutions, 2,692 pounds of textiles by Simple Recycling, 1,800 pairs of eyeglasses by The Woodlands Lions Club, 100 pounds of oral care products and two pounds of disposable razors by Junior Girl Scout Troop #108094, 10 pounds of snack and drink pouches by Hailey Elementary PTA and Wilkerson Intermediate PTO, and 1,200 cubic feet of block Styrofoam.  

$2,534 and 1,010 pounds of canned food items were also collected and donated to Interfaith of The Woodlands Food Pantry. Volunteers from National Charity League Texas Laurels (NCL) and National Charity Roundtable (NCR) assisted with event operations. 

Congratulations Grogan’s Mill Village for first place!

The 2020 Recycling Village Challenge item was batteries. The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. awards money to each village scholarship program based on pounds of batteries collected per capita (pounds of batteries collected per household in each village). 

Between annual 3R events, residents are encouraged to recycle rechargeable batteries at the Montgomery County Precinct 3 Recycling Facility (Montgomery County residents only), Batteries Plus Bulbs, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s or a Walmart Super Center. Single-use alkaline batteries can be recycled at Batteries Plus Bulbs or the Precinct 3 Recycling Facility. For more opportunities to recycle items not accepted in curbside recycling carts please check out the Recycle More Guide

The 3R Drive-thru is a free program of The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department with sponsorship from Chevron Phillips Chemical, Waste Management, Woodlands Water, Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. and Woodlands Wholesale Nursery. For more information about recycling, please visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/recycling or contact the Township Environmental Services Department at enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov.  

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

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

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

Fall in love with nature at these upcoming events


Rainscaping employs any combination of plants, water features, and permeable surfaces to catch and use rain as opposed to letting it run into the street. It dramatically reduces your water use while making plants healthier. No need to redesign your whole yard to make the rain work for you.  Discover simple strategies you can mix and match to suit your landscape needs. Learn how to scale elements for the size of your yard or project area and get advice on selecting plants and trees that flourish in our challenging climate.  

Megan McNairn, The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Education Specialist, will share easy to follow strategies for capturing rain water in your landscape.  

Registration is required to receive the Zoom link for this program on Saturday, November 7 from 9 a.m. to noon. 


Cathie Coudert, Education Coordinator, presents on the importance of wildlife care and rehabilitation, what native creatures you may encounter and what you can do if you find an animal in need. Learn what programs and resources are available for you to help give wildlife a second chance. 

Friends of Texas Wildlife is a nonprofit organization that rehabilitates orphaned, injured and displaced native Texas wildlife.  They are the only wildlife rehabilitation center in Montgomery County and have been serving the community for 25 years. The rehabilitators are all volunteers and are permitted by Texas Parks & Wildlife and U.S. Fish & Wildlife.  Interested in supporting this organization? View the Friends of Texas Wildlife Donation Sheet


The Woodlands Township’s annual 3R Bazaar is mobilizing this year; its been reimagined as the 3R Recycling Drive-thru. Enjoy convenient, free one-day recycling 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). 

The safety of volunteers, staff and residents is the highest priority. 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 back passenger side seat for safe access by volunteers. A volunteer will open the trunk, hatchback or rear side passenger door to remove items. Residents only, no businesses  

  • Batteries – Alkaline AA, AAA, C, D, and 9V labeled with village name. 
  • Disposable Razors with 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 – Clothing, shoes, linens, in any condition. Rags and fabric scraps, too.  

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  

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