Take Care of Texas News: How to Recycle and Community Events

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How to Recycle...



About 12 percent of the municipal solid waste stream is plastic materials such as soda bottles, plastic bags, lids, and shampoo bottles. Most community recycling programs accept some but not all kinds of plastics. The numbers in triangles on the bottom of plastic containers are part of a resin identification coding (RIC) system that helps distinguish types of plastics. You can use those numbers to determine if your recycling program accepts that type of material. The main markets for recycled plastics are fiber for carpet and textiles and then bottles, depending on the type of plastic. While the markets for recycled plastic are growing, according to the EPA, the United States has the capacity to be recycling plastics at a greater rate.


Glass, especially glass food and beverage containers, can be recycled over and over again. Americans generated 11.6 million tons of glass in 2012, but only 28 percent of that was recovered for recycling. Most curbside community recycling programs accept different glass colors and types mixed together, and then the glass is sorted at the recovery facility. Check with your local program to see if you need to separate your glass or if it can be mixed together.

Used Oil

Never dump used motor oil - including transmission fluids, brake fluids, power steering fluids, and greases - down the drain. The used oil from one oil change can contaminate one million gallons of fresh water. It is illegal in Texas to dump used oil into storm drains or waterways. Some communities have collection centers. If your does not, check with auto service centers. Some accept used oil in small quantities.


Over 3 million tires were sent to Texas landfills last year. Abandoned tire piles can lead to diseases from pests like mosquitoes and rats and can also cause fires. To get the most use of your tires, maintain your tires’ air pressure and rotate them regularly, but when you can no longer use them, dispose of them properly. Most tire dealers or auto shops will accept tires for a fee, and a few municipalities will accept a few tires from citizens at no charge.

To learn what to do with other items like automotive batteries, leaves and lawn clippings, and ink cartridges, check out the “What Do I Do With It Now?” Take Care of Texas guide on our publications page.

For a quick and easy way to find recycling centers near you, visit Earth 911 and search by material.

two steps

Beginning March 1, 2015, the State of Texas will stop issuing inspection stickers and transition to a “Two Steps, One Sticker” vehicle inspection and registration program.

For more information, please visit the Two Steps, One Sticker website 

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Be Water Wise at Home

This BRAND NEW brochure, dual-sided in English and Spanish, offer tips and facts about conserving water.

Order free copies online.

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Win a $20 H-E-B gift card!

Go to our Facebook page, and post a comment on this picture saying “I Pledge to Take Care of Texas.” Two people will be randomly chosen to win $20 gift cards provided by H-E-B. Contest ends this Thursday, Feb. 5, at noon. We will reply to your comment if you win, so be sure to check back that afternoon.

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Have your kids show us how they Take Care of Texas for a chance to win a Samsung tablet!

Visit the Take Care of Texas website for more information and to download an entry form. The contest closes March 6, 2015.


Visit the New Online Youth Resource Library from Keep Texas Beautiful

The H-E-B/Central Market Youth Resource Library is an online listing of ready-made youth programs, lesson plans, and templates available to use in your community.

The programs can work in both formal and informal settings, and have been successfully used by KTB affiliate communities. Lesson plans include a list of materials, timeline, and estimated budget, and have been correlated with TEKS.


$2.7 Million Available in Environmental Education Local Grants

The Environmental Education Local Grants Program supports locally focused environmental education projects that increase public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues. The grants program also gives participants the chance to develop skills needed to make informed environmental decisions and take responsible actions toward the environment. The deadline to apply for a grant is March 6, 2015. Applicants must be a local education or environmental agency, college, university, or non-profit organization. Please refer to the full announcement for additional information.


Check out the Backyard Basics Classes

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension hosts a variety of low-cost or free educational workshops on topics ranging from pest control to making cheese. Upcoming events include:


Adopt-a-Beach Cleanups Set for This Month

Make plans to join the two wintertime beach cleanups set for Friday, Feb. 6, on South Padre Island or Saturday, Feb. 7, in the Coastal Bend Area. Sign up or just show up the morning of the cleanup.


Celebrate Valentine’s Day at a Texas state park!


Enjoy a starry night, sweetheart hike, or even Archery 101 in honor of Cupid. Texas Parks and Wildlife offers a variety of events all month long for you and your valentine, including your four-legged loved ones.

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