Repurpose this holiday season

60% off holiday decorations! How can you pass up those savings? But, if you’re like most of us, you already have an attic full of boxes of cards, lights, and ornaments. They might be worn but they still have life. Consider repurposing them into something new this holiday season. Don’t know where to begin? Here are some tips to get you started.

Holiday Cards

Many of us are guilty of keeping piles of holiday cards from loved ones. Too difficult to toss out warm wishes and photos of the family in matching outfits. Bring those memories out of the box and give them new life.

  • Coasters  Perfect for your ugly sweater party. Check out this great tutorial here.
  • Tree Garland  With a little rope and glue you can turn those cards into garland for your tree or mantel.  Here’s how.
  • Gift tags Personalize gifts with a handmade gift tag by following these simple instructions.  

Trees

Real or artificial, trees are an essential part of the holidays.  After presents are opened and ornaments packed away, what will you do with your tree?  Before you toss it to the curb, or buy a bigger, better version, consider one of the following.

Recycle Natural Trees Donate it to The Woodlands Township. The Recreation Center at Rob Fleming Park will have a designated area in the parking lot to drop natural trees from December 26, 2019 through January 7, 2020. Donated trees will be ground into chips to help refurbish the forest floor. Trees must be completely clean before drop-off. Remove any tinsel, decorations or any other materials that would litter the forest floor. Flocked (white) natural trees and artificial trees will not be accepted.

Natural trees are also available for curbside pickup by Waste Management. Remove all decorations, lights and tree stands and place at the curb on your service day. Natural trees will be composted, just like your yard trimmings that get picked up every week.  If you have a flocked tree, please call 1-800-800-5804, at least two days before your service day to schedule a bulk pick up. Flocked trees must be landfilled. 

Or, check out these creative ways to use your tree year round.

  • Log Wreath Perfect for Fall. Cut your tree into thin wood slices and follow the tutorial here.
  • Branch Tree From the Queen of Craft herself, Martha Stewart shows you how to reuse branches to display ornaments beyond the life of your tree.
  • Bird Feeder Stick your tree in the ground or keep it in the stand. Decorate your tree with stale bread, pinecones rolled in peanut butter and bird seed, or strings of popcorn and cranberry seeds.

Repurpose Artificial Trees If you have a broken artificial tree or have upgraded to a bigger, better version don’t kick it to the curb without trying one of these simple crafts.

  • Garland with Lights With a little elbow grease, some ribbon and a strand of lights, your artificial tree will transform into beautiful garland to trim your doorway, mantel or windows.
  • Snowflakes It may not snow much around here, but this step-by-step guide will show you how to create a winter wonderland with your very own snowflakes using two branches from your artificial tree.
  • Holiday Swags Upcycle your artificial tree and create beautiful swags to hang around the house.  This video walks you through how easy it is to make these festive decorations.

Lights

It’s inevitable, you finally finish hanging all the lights, plug in the tree and nothing happens. Loose wiring? Broken bulb? Bad extension cord? Do you check each light, one by one, or just run to the store and buy more? If you find that you have accumulated a few years’ worth of lights, try some of these DIY projects and shine a light on the joys of upcycling this season.

  • If you’ve upgraded to LEDs and have a strand or two of the old incandescent lights, save those torpedo-shaped bulbs and turn them into glitter-adorned ornaments. Watch this video and don’t forget to recycle used ribbon to hang your new ornament from the tree.
  • Hula Hoop Chandelier Have you found yourself with too many strands of lights? Get creative and personalize your home with this handmade chandelier.
  • Light Repair Why not try to fix something before throwing it away? This article will help you get your lights back in working order.
Strands of lights are not recyclable through your curbside service but can be taken to Precinct 3 to be recycled

Many of these repurposed items also make wonderful gifts. So when you are cleaning out the garage, attic or storage unit, take some time and consider if you can turn old into new again and repurpose your holiday decorations.

Already a DIY’er? Leave a reply at the bottom of the page and let us know how you repurpose or recycle your holiday decorations.

Residents Recycled MORE at 3R Bazaar

On Saturday, November 9, more than 800 residents enjoyed shopping local artists, free recycling, document shredding and learning about recycling at the 9th Annual 3R Bazaar! 3R Bazaar is a once a year recycling event with local resources available to educate on a number of ways to reduce, reuse and recycle as well as on-site recycling opportunities. Residents saved 13,817 lbs of material from the landfill by bringing hard to recycle items for free recycling. $1,485 and 850lbs of canned food items were collected from the document shredding service and donated to Interfaith of The Woodlands Food Pantry.

The 2019 Recycling Village Challenge item was batteries. The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. will award scholarship funds to villages based on the amount of batteries they collected.

Save the date for the next 3R Bazaar on Saturday, November 14, 2020 and watch for the new Recycling Village Challenge item, to be announced in January. Batteries will not count towards the 2020 Village Challenge but will be accepted along with eyeglasses, textiles, oral care products and documents for shredding. In the meantime, batteries can be recycled at Precinct 3 Recycling Facility, Batteries Plus Bulbs, Best Buy, Home Depot, Lowe’s or a Walmart Super Center.

Residents are encouraged to think beyond the curbside cart and take advantage of the wide variety of local recycling opportunities. A complete list of participating locations and the items they accept can be found here.

For more information about recycling, please visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/recycling or contact the Township Environmental Services Department at 281-210-3800. The 3R Bazaar is a free program of The Woodlands Township Environmental Services Department with sponsorship from Waste Management, Southern Shred, Gullo Dealerships, Woodlands Water and The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N.

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

Recycle beyond the curb at 3R Bazaar

Reduce, reuse, recycle and re-imagine waste at the annual 3R Bazaar! Bring select items for recycling, shop the market for crafts featuring recycled materials, and discover new opportunities to recycle beyond the curb. It all happens on November 9 at The Woodlands Farmers Market at Grogan’s Mill 8 a.m. to noon.

Reduce

Americans make up roughly 5% of the world’s population but generate nearly 40% of the world’s total waste. Learn tips and tricks to reduce waste on the go and at home.

Reuse

The U.S. produces 4.6 million lbs. of wrapping paper each year. Half of it is sent to landfills. Many wrapping papers are foiled which means they cannot be recycled. Visit the Reuse Workshop and learn how to create eco-friendly gift boxes and bags from newspaper and vinyl record sleeves. They can even be reused or recycled after the holiday!

Recycle

Bring select, hard-to-recycle items for free recycling and learn about year-round collection opportunities.  Participate in the 2019 Village Challenge! Earn scholarship funds for your village by bringing Alkaline AA, AAA, C, D, 9V batteries for recycling.

Free Recycling

  • Alkaline Batteries
    • AA, AAA, C, D and 9 volt
    • Residential only, no businesses
  • Textiles
    • Clothing in unusable condition
  • Eyeglasses
  • Oral Care Products
    • Collected by Girl Scout Cadette Troop 11953
    • Used toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes, and floss containers

3R Bazaar is hosted by The Woodlands Township Environmental Services with sponsorship from Waste Management, Woodlands Water, Southern Shred and The Woodlands G.R.E.E.N. For more information, please visit www.thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov/3rbazaar or contact the Environmental Services Department at 281-210-3800.



Secure Document Shredding by Southern Shred

  • Boxed or bagged personal documents
  • Residential Only
  • 5 cans of food or $5 per box benefits Interfaith Food Pantry
  • No limit

Kick the Plastic Habit this July

Plastic-Free July (1).jpg

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!

ReusableBanner

Top five ways to reduce plastic in your daily life:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bring your own mug. Many coffee shops give a discount if you bring your own container!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Recycling Dilemma #1003 – Moving Boxes and Oversized Cardboard

 

Cardboard Graphic

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.

Give Moving Boxes Another Trip (1)

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.