Do good. Feel good: a guide to community service while social distancing

If you are looking for a relaxing activity to make a positive impact on your community while practicing the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing, consider cleaning up litter along your regular walking route, local green belts and your neighborhood.

All litter, big and small, is not only unsightly, it has serious environmental consequences, that can be easily prevented. It is important to dispose of waste properly, educate or report those seen littering and start the habit of picking it up when you see it.

Negative effects of litter:

1. Decreases community aesthetic, reducing property values.

2. Causes soil, water and air pollution. Chemicals can leach from litter, polluting nearby soil and water bodies. If the littered area is burned, it can release toxic particulate matter.

3. Creates breeding grounds for mosquitoes. It only takes 1 plastic bottle cap full of water for mosquitoes to reproduce.

4. Causes fire hazards.

5. Harms wildlife. Small pieces of litter are often ingested by aquatic and land animals and fishing line or other tanglers can trap them. This can lead to death or severe injury.

Cleanup Tips:

If you’ve been racking up a collection of plastic bags, reuse them for litter bags! Remember to take clean plastic bags and film back to the grocery store for recycling. They cannot be recycled in your curbside cart.

Dispose of collected litter in a pathway receptacle or your curbside cart. Please use care not to overstuff trash bins on pathways. Overstuffed trash cans lead to more litter.

Want to burn some calories while you’re at it? Try “plogging,” the act of picking up litter while you are jogging!

Safety Tips:

  • Use reusable work gloves to save disposable ones. Wash them after use.
  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands. ·
  • Watch out for poisonous plants. Leaves of three, leave it be!
  • Use care around wildlife and observe them from afar. Use a stick to disturb grass before walking through.
  • Wear long sleeved, light colored clothing and close toed shoes.
  • Bring a hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellant and a water bottle.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. Do not go into streets or busy vehicle areas.

Look down for litter, look up for other hidden treasures in the community!

While you are out enjoying a relaxing walk through the neighborhood, take advantage of being surrounded by nature in spring and consider the following social distancing approved activities:

Photography – Take a moment to share your photos with your family, friends, your community through social media and us! Many people are unable to leave the house during this time. Your photos can help them get a healthy dose of nature to brighten their day.

iNaturalist – Become a Citizen Scientist! Observe locally and identify globally by snapping pictures of local flora and fauna in The Woodlands. Download the app, snap a picture, receive help identifying species and contribute to global research.

Birding – Here is a resource from Texas Parks & Wildlife to get you started. Grocery stores often have laminated guides in the checkout lines.

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

Are you ready for spring?

Warmer weather is here so pack away those sweaters and coats and get your closet ready for spring. While you’re at it, take a moment to set aside clothes you no longer wear or that your kids have outgrown. Hmmm, now that the closest is clean, what about the garage, or the attic. How about those toys, books and games no one plays with anymore?

Well, now it seems a spring cleaning is in full swing. Once you decide you can live without it, what do you do with it? Can you donate it, recycle it or should it be landfilled? We’ve highlight our top 5 most viewed articles to help you clean house this spring.

1. Recycling Dilemma: Got Stuff?  From bulky items that don’t fit in the trash bin, to scrap metal, appliances and light bulbs, find out how to properly dispose of it all in this quick read.

2. Recycle Right, Recycle Often Need a quick refresher on what CAN and CAN’T go in your curbside recycling bin?

3. Moving Boxes and Oversized Cardboard Did you know that Waste Management has a special pick-up day each month for your village to collect cardboard boxes at the curb?

4. To Bag or Not To Bag  You may have heard, plastic bags create havoc when placed in your recycling cart. For more information on why and what you can do with your clean bags and film, read To Bag or Not To Bag.

5. Resolution for a Greener Year Beyond just spring cleaning, what other actions can you take to reduce, reuse and recycle at home?

For a complete list of resource, visit The Woodlands Township Recycling and Solid Waste  or email enviro@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov

Earth Day GreenUp Registration Closes Soon

Online registration closes soon! If you have a large group, save time on event day and register online here.

Volunteer walk-ups are welcome on event day. Paper registration forms will be available at the event site. Everyone must have a signed waiver to participate. Children under 18 must have a parent or guardian to sign the waiver.

For event details of the 10th annual Earth Day GreenUp, read this recent blog post.

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

Save the date!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Pre-registration is open!

Join neighbors, family and friends at the 10th annual Earth Day GreenUp on March 21st. Volunteer to beautify our community by picking up litter on pathways, waterways and greenbelts. After your hard work, celebrate at Northshore Park with free pizza, live music and a special 10-year anniversary t-shirt. Together, residents will keep The Woodlands beautiful and protect natural areas for wildlife by helping in this community stewardship project.

Registration is available online at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/greenup through March 9th. Walk-up registration is also welcome the morning of the event, starting at 8 a.m. A limited number of trash grabbers and vests will be available for loan to groups that pre-register on the website.

Disposable gloves, trash bags, water bottles, instructions and maps to cleanup sites will be provided at check-in. Participants are encouraged to bring reusable work gloves and a reusable water bottle to reduce waste.

The after party at Northshore Park, 2505 Lake Woodlands Drive, will feature local environmental organizations hosting fun activities and information on how you can make everyday Earth Day. Meet wildlife ambassadors, rock out with Let them Drum, explore new recycling and water saving opportunities and be sure to steer clear of the Bag Monster! Volunteers will receive a commemorative T-shirt and be treated to pizza. Beverages will be available, but remember to bring your own water bottle. Food tickets will be on sale to the general public.


Pre-register through Monday, March 9 at www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/greenup

Check-in: Saturday, March 21, 8 to 10 a.m. at a location near you. Walk-ups welcome.

  • Alden Bridge: Alden Bridge Park
  • Cochran’s Crossing: Shadowbend Park
  • College Park: Harper’s Landing Park
  • Creekside Park: Rob Fleming Aquatic Center
  • Grogan’s Mill: Sawmill Park
  • Indian Springs: Falconwing Park
  • Panther Creek: Ridgewood Park
  • Sterling Ridge: Cranebrook Park

GreenUp: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Celebrate: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Northshore Park

More Info: Call Environmental Services at 281-210-3800

The GreenUp celebration begins at 11 a.m. at Northshore Park

Holiday Recycling and Trash Service

In observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays, there will be no solid waste collection services on Wednesday, December 25, 2019 or Wednesday, January 1, 2020.

All services are affected—trash, recycling, yard trimmings, bulk pick-up, and Simple Recycling (orange textile bags). The chart below shows when service will be provided.   

The Woodlands Recycling Center (5402 Research Forest Dr)

  • Closed – Wednesday December 25 and January 1
  • Open – 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 in each Village, additional cardboard boxes, gift boxes and plain recyclable wrapping paper will be picked up for recycling. NO FOIL, GLITTER, OR EMBOSSED PAPER ALLOWED.

  • 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 reserved only for 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.
  • Other Option: Natural trees can be dropped off at The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park, 6464 Creekside Forest Drive, between December 26, 2019, and January 7, 2020. Please deposit trees in the Christmas Tree Corral in the parking lot at any time of day. Trees will be chipped and used as ground cover at the facility.

Flocked Christmas Tree Disposal

  • Schedule for bulk pick-up 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) or Randalls (Grogan’s Mill and Panther Creek).
  • Each bag may weigh no more than 40 pounds.

Helpful Reminders

Missed Pick-ups. Please call Waste Management Customer Service at 800-800-5804.

Recycling unusable textiles. Fill Simple Recycling orange bags with worn out bedding, clothes, towels, and any other household textiles. Then place your bags on the curb on your regular service day. No phone call required. Request orange bags at www.simplerecycling.com.

Usable Home Items in Good Condition

Consider donating usable items to local charities before throwing them away. Here is a list of all local donation centers.


For more information on The Woodlands Township, please call 281-210-3800 or visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov.