Guide to recycling in San Antonio

Reduce, reuse, recycle.


Solid Waste Management is San Antonio’s trash pick-up provider.

Photo by Clem Spalding

Table of Contents

You’ve seen them, the blue recycling cans around San Antonio — it’s like going green, but blue. If you take pride in recycling or want to learn more, we’re breaking it down so you can make sure you’re recycling in the most effective way possible.

Do I need to sort my recyclables?

Most recycling systems in the U.S. have gone single-stream, including San Antonio. That means your recyclables can go in one bin. Use your recycle bin or one of the listed drop-off locations.

The do’s and don’ts of recycling

In addition to what you put in the bin, you should always be mindful of how you put it in there.

  • Do not place recyclables in paper or plastic bags. They go into the blue bin loose.
  • Flatten out all cardboard. I know you want to keep that pretty Apple box, but it needs to be recycled too.
  • Remove all lids, even plastic ones. Bottles marked 1-7 are all recyclable.
  • Never use your blue cart as overflow for trash. In the words of Egon from “Ghostbusters,” don’t cross the streams.

See the full list here.

Pro tip: You can’t recycle thin plastics but, H-E-B offers curbside recycling when using Drive-Up for your groceries. Just bundle the plastic bags into one, leave them in your trunk, and an associate will collect them to reuse.

Thinking outside the blue bins

Recycling doesn’t stop at the blue bins — the city offers safe disposal services for paint, oil, hazardous waste + batteries. The community can also be part of Compost Queens, which diverts food scraps from the landfill and returns them to local farms for fertilizer. The city also offers free quarterly drop-off events to dispose hazardous waste.

The holiday schedule

With the holidays now upon us, it’s time to be mindful of your trash/recycle pickup days, and how they change with the upcoming dates. If you have a private waste collector — like Tiger Sanitation — then be sure to check with them for your updated pick-up times.

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The City of San Antonio’s Waste Management trash pick up schedule for the holidays.

Graphic by the City of San Antonio.