Ever feel like you need a PhD to recycle correctly? Here’s a trick for the next time you are about to put plastic in the curbside cart: look for a neck and a number. Accepted plastics are easily identified by their narrow “neck” as seen on a bottle of water, shampoo or detergent. Look closely and you’ll see a number printed on the bottom too – ensure that it’s not #6 and you can confidently recycle that plastic curbside.
What about all the other plastics without a neck or a number? Plastic bags, packaging, case wraps, disposable cutlery, straws, plates and cups cannot be put in the recycle cart. Avoid the temptation to “wishcycle” them – placing them in the recycling bin in the hope that they’ll magically be recycled. Limited markets and sorting technology for recyclables dictate which items are accepted.
Instead seek out a special local recycling opportunity for these other items. Plastic bags and films get tangled in the sorting machinery at the recycling facility, but they CAN be recycled at local grocery stores. Check out all the kinds of film that can be recycled this way – chances are if it stretches it can be recycled.
Although very important, recycling isn’t the only tool we have to fight plastic pollution. When it comes to disposable items, reducing dependence on single-use plastics and packaging is the key.
Tips to reduce plastic waste:
- Bring your own reusable tote bags, produce or bulk bags, travel mugs, stainless steel straws, reusable cutlery and water bottles.
- Purchase products with less packaging such as loose produce and bulk dry goods.
- Recycle right. Get familiar with what is accepted in your curbside cart and local opportunities for other items.
In the spirit of Earth Day, consider taking an inventory of how much single-use plastic you generate and choose to reduce. EarthDay.org has plastic pollution footprint calculators and an action guide to get you started. For an interesting look at the rise and proliferation of plastics check out this article in the April edition of The Woodlands Community Magazine.
For more information on recycling and waste minimization, contact The Woodlands Township Environmental Services at email@example.com or 281-210-3800.
Take the Plastic Free Pledge – Choose to Refuse!
Summer vacation means more parties, picnics, and eating on-the-go! It’s time to reflect on our disposable habits. Plastic Free July highlights how our short-term convenient choices can have long-term impacts on our environment.
Did You Know? “Eight out of ten items found on beaches in international coastal cleanups are related to eating and drinking,” according to One World One Ocean. This is one problem with an easy solution: choose to refuse!
Top five ways to reduce plastic in your daily life:
- Bring your own bag. On average in the United States, 100 billion plastic bags are used by consumers annually. The average time each bag is used is less than 15 minutes.
- Bring your own bottle. The amount of water used to produce a plastic bottle is 6 to 7 times the amount of water in the bottle.
- Bring your own mug. Many coffee shops give a discount if you bring your own container!
- Choose cardboard and paper packaging over plastic containers and bags. Less than 14 percent of plastic packaging– the fastest-growing type of packaging–gets recycled.
- Kick the disposable straw habit, especially plastic ones. If you must use a straw, try a reusable one made of stainless steel or bamboo.
Explore more easy tips here! Going plastic-free in July is simple; take The Woodlands Plastic Free Pledge and let us know how YOU will break your disposable habit!
At home and on the go, when you can’t reduce, remember to recycle! Need more information? Call the Environmental Services Department at 281-210-3800.
Whether you relocated from across the country, moved a kid home from college, or just received delivery of a new flat screen TV, dealing with those cardboard boxes is no problem! Your curbside solid waste services through Waste Management provide a special pick-up day each month for recycling oversized and overabundance of cardboard boxes. The service is provided to each neighborhood in The Woodlands once a month at no additional cost.
2 Easy Steps:
Determine your pick-up day by Village
- 2nd Monday of the Month: Alden Bridge, Cochran’s Crossing, Sterling Ridge.
- 4th Friday of the Month: Creekside Park, College Park, Grogan’s Forest, Grogan’s Mill, Indian Springs, Panther Creek, Research Forest, Town Center.
Schedule bulk recycling pick-up of cardboard
- At least 2 business days prior to the scheduled pick-up day, call Waste Management Customer Service at 1-800-800-5804.
- Request and keep the confirmation number until service occurs.
For a trouble-free pick-up, please follow these guidelines:
- Flatten boxes, then bundle and stack them curbside.
- Fold packing paper and place in your recycling cart for pick-up on your regular service day.
- NO packing peanuts, Styrofoam™, bubble wrap or plastic.
- Place items at the curb before 7 a.m. on the pre-scheduled pick-up day.
Have an abundance of cardboard and don’t want to wait?
Take it to one of our local Drop-off centers:
The Woodlands Recycling Center | 5100 block of Research Forest, west of Bear Branch Recreation Center | Open Wednesday, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Precinct 3 Recycling Complex | 1122 Pruitt Road | Call for details: 281-367-7283 | Open Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., closed for lunch 11:30 to 12:30
Did you move with more than you meant to, or don’t want to take it all to the new place? Check out the previous Recycling Dilemma # 1002 – Got Stuff? for resources to donate, declutter and discard.
For more moving day solutions see the Moving In/Moving Out Guidelines or call Environmental Services at 281-210-3800.
Summer brings parties, picnics and eating on-the-go! What better time to review our disposable habits! Plastic Free July highlights how our short-term convenience choices can have long-term impacts.