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Katy Spring Cleaning: Litter Drop-Off Event, Plus Useful Tips


March 29, 2021

By Natalie Cook Clark

Spring has arrived, and that means spring cleaning for the Katy community. A local group is making it easier for residents to get rid of excess trash and recyclables.

Gather Your Trash for Drop-Off

What can residents do to safely dispose of those hard trash items and keep our community clean? Katy residents can participate in a community-wide clean up and/or drop off their trash and recyclables.

On Saturday, April 10, Keep Katy Beautiful is hosting their annual Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off. The local group educates and encourages the Katy community to take responsibility for beautification, trash reductions, and litter prevention.

Any Katy resident can drop off items such as paper to be shredded and electronics. This year, the group is also accepting scrap metal, appliances, cardboard, yard debris, oil and paint, and wooden pallets.

Join a Team to Clean Up Katy

The event was created to help engage the community to clean up litter in the City of Katy. Residents can participate in teams that will be assigned to pick up harmful litter and debris along the city’s roads, local parks, and other areas.

The Don’t Mess with Texas Trash-Off is 9 a.m. to noon at Katy’s First Baptist Church on Pin Oak Road.

Regular household trash will not be accepted. Please see their website for more information as well as the flyer below.

How to Dispose of Challenging Items

Throughout the year, trash accumulates, and some items are often difficult to throw away. There are simple solutions to disposing challenging items so you don’t have to hang onto them or dispose of them improperly.


When disposing of paint, make sure it is dried out prior to throwing out. Residents can mix unused paint with kitty litter, or even dirt, to help dry it out.


Disposing of electronics and appliances is tricky because even when they don’t work, they are still full of toxic materials such as arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Do not throw away unwanted electronics in your usual trash. Instead deliver all electronics to recycle centers or find electronic take-back programs by contacting local electronic stores.


Poison Control used to recommend disposing of unused or wanted medication by flushing it. This prevented medicine from accidentally being ingested by children or pets. However, levels of medication are now being detected in the environment because of this. Now, Poison Control recommends finding an approved medicine drop box. Local pharmacies, and sometime police departments, offer this option.

Steps to safely dispose of medicine:

  • Pour liquid medication over paper towels, kitty litter, or coffee grounds and tightly wrap in sealable or watertight containers or bags.

  • Solids (pills, capsules, tablets) should be placed into a sealable or watertight container or bag. Add a small amount of water to at least partly dissolve them. Add an undesirable substance like coffee grounds or kitty litter so that they are less likely to be eaten by animals.

  • Place the container inside a package such as a box that doesn’t show what’s inside.

To encourage proper disposal of challenging items, some local businesses offer to buy back trash and give residents cash.

Katy Scrap Metal at Highway Boulevard in Katy will buy back iron appliances, rebar, cell phones, computers, hardware, laptops, scrap tools, steel machinery, fencing steel, steel plates, copper and brass items, aluminum, stainless steel, batteries, lead, radiators, electric motors, and A/C compressors.

Check their website for details. Please note that all flammable materials must be drained prior to drop off.

National Iron & Metals, LLC, another Katy business, on Katy Hockley Road accepts recycled drop-offs. Contact them at 832-529-6400 for more information.

How to Repurpose Hard-to-recycle Items

Some items are just difficult to recycle, but Katy residents can think outside the box and find exciting ways to give new life to old trash.

CDs and DVDs

These items are difficult to recycle but can find new life in other purposes. Break up shiny CDs or DVDs and make a mosaic for mirrors or picture frames. To create seasonal décor, ornaments or windchimes, paint the discs, or cover them with decorative paper.

Bubble wrap

Rather than throwing away bubble wrap, which is hard to recycle, keep it to store fragile items like precious keepsakes or holiday ornaments.

Citrus Fruit Netting

Oftentimes fruits such as oranges and lemons come in netting bags to help fruit breathe and last. Consider reusing the netting bags for other un-bagged fruits to keep your fruit healthy and last longer while helping the environment.


This item cannot be recycled but can be easily reused to store food or other items around the home. For DIY projects, cover paint rollers or brushes with cling wrap between uses, stretch and twist a long section to use as tie in a garden, or keep some in a First Aid kit to cover a bandage.

Silica Gel

These little packets are used to keep things fresh such as medicine bottles, shoes, and some food items. Instead of throwing them away, use them for their intended purpose:

Place a packet with old photos and fine silverware, or in an instrument case to keep moisture away. Add one to a dresser drawer, stored clothes or camping gear to keep items fresh, or help lessen the musty odors from damp sneakers/cleats and sports equipment. Plus, they can keep electronics and perishables from maintaining too much moisture.

When disposing of most items, recycling is the best action to take. Become educated, get creative, and do your part in keeping Katy beautiful and environmentally safe.


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