Solid Waste Management Department
Frequently Asked Questions
Top Asked Questions
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No. Empty deodorant containers are not accepted in the blue recycling cart. Although the exterior of the container is made of plastic, deodorant containers cannot be recycled because of the residue that remains on the inside walls of the container. Also, these containers contain mechanical parts that cannot be recycled in the blue cart.
No. Although made of plastic, the nozzle may retain container contents such as harmful chemicals that need to be kept out of the recycling stream. Additionally, the spray nozzle may be made from smaller mechanical parts that cannot be recycled in the blue cart.
No. Toothpaste tubes are not recyclable because they contain aluminum that cannot be recycled in the blue cart. Additionally, tubes, when emptied of most of their contents, usually retain some product that would contaminate other recyclables if recycled with other items in the blue cart.
General Questions
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See Rates for a breakdown of the City's solid waste monthly rate.
If you live within the City of San Antonio's city limits, call 3-1-1 to establish new service. Once your request has been processed, your garbage (brown) cart and recycling (blue) cart will be delivered to your household.
If we missed servicing your cart, please call us at 3-1-1.
The City observes Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day; therefore, collection will not be provided on these holidays. Residents will receive notification of their holiday collection schedule in advance. Collection will occur on all other holidays. If you have any questions about the holiday collection schedule, please call 3-1-1.

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The 96-gallon is the equivalent of three regular 32-gallon trash cans. The average household sets out about three trash cans per week. Hold any trash that does not fit into the cart until the next scheduled collection day.
The cart is the property of the City of San Antonio. Please report any stolen carts to 3-1-1.
The City will repair minor damage from normal use. Any cart with damages as the result of abuse (i.e., hot ashes or coals) or neglect of the property owner will be replaced at a charge of $55.
The cart is city property. Do not take the cart with you when you move; it is assigned to the specific address. Please call 3-1-1 to arrange for the cart to be picked up. The new resident will need to call for a cart delivery.
Every cart will have a decal on the inside of the lid for your address. When the cart is issued, verify that your address is on the decal; do not write anywhere else on the container, as it is City property. The City retains records of cart deliveries.
The cart's design is 47.5" tall, 35" deep (front to back), and 27" across. The base of the cart (footprint) is slightly larger than a regular 32-gallon trash can, so it should fit where you store your cans now. Many people choose to store carts along side their house out of public view behind a fence or in the garage.
The carts are constructed and balanced so that most people can easily move a full cart to the curb. If you need to switch to a different size, the City offers a 48-gallon cart.
The City has a Medical Waiver Service available to residents who are physically unable to roll their carts to the curb for collection. Call 3-1-1 to learn about eligibility.
To ensure service, roll your cart to the street and place it with wheels against the curb by 7:00 a.m. on your designated collection day.
Solid Waste customers can request an additional blue cart at no additional cost. Additional brown carts are available to Solid Waste customers for a monthly fee of $24.68; this fee will be added to your current solid waste collection service fee. To order additional carts, call 3-1-1.
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Only Styrofoam® food containers (e.g., take-out trays and cups) can be placed in the blue recycling cart. Residents can take clean Styrofoam® packaging peanuts to a local UPS store location to be reused. Residents are advised to contact the UPS store and confirm that they accept Styrofoam® peanuts before delivering materials. All other types of Styrofoam® products (e.g., Styrofoam® block packaging products) should not be placed in the blue cart and should be placed in the brown cart.
No. Please do not place shredded paper in the blue cart.
Yes, caps from plastic beverage containers are accepted through our curbside recycling program. Place them as a loose item in the blue cart.
Yes, caps from aluminum containers are accepted through our curbside recycling program. Place them as a loose item in the blue cart.
The preferred method for disposing of recyclable items in the blue cart is to place them loose and not contained within other recyclable items. By placing recyclables loose in the blue cart, recyclables can be properly separated during the sorting process that takes place in the recycling facility. Always remember not to place recyclables in plastic bags. Plastic bags are NOT ACCEPTED in the blue cart.
Brush and Bulky Item Collections
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Individuals who set out piles for collection that contain materials that are not accepted during the current pickup may be subject to a fee.
Residents will receive an official City notice on their door seven (7) days before their scheduled pick-up. Collection will begin in that area on the date printed on the notice.
Solid Waste customers receive two (2) brush only collections per year and two (2) bulky item only collections per year, each on a separate schedule approximately every six months. The bulky item only collections will take place during the same week each year. The two separate brush only collections will be approximately six (6) months apart and no closer than one month from the previous and next brush only collection.
No. Do not place bagged leaves out with your brush. Bagged leaves are collected through a separate service. City of San Antonio residents that pay the solid waste fee are eligible for two (2) free collections per fiscal year. To schedule a pickup, please call 3-1-1.
Brush and bulky item collection is provided to all City of San Antonio residents that pay the solid waste fee. Check your CPS Energy bill; if it lists a Solid Waste Fee, you are a customer of the City and you are eligible to receive brush collection and bulky item collection.
Brush or bulky items should be placed eight (8) feet from the curb. Do not place material in front of parked cars, near fences, trees, mailboxes, beneath overhead wires, or low hanging trees. Brush or bulky items will not be collected if not easily accessible by collection crews.
If you missed your scheduled collection or need an immediate collection of brush or bulky items, call 3-1-1 to schedule an out-of-cycle collection. Upon requesting an out-of-cycle collection, City staff will offer a free estimate of the cost for collection and disposal of materials. The fee charged is based on the size of the pile.
Residents may set out up to six passenger vehicle tires during their scheduled bulky item collection.
The collection trucks are not equipped to sweep the streets. City street sweepers are scheduled to sweep the area the week following your area’s brush collection.
Bulky item piles must not exceed eight (8) cubic yards. Eight cubic yards is roughly equivalent to eight (8) washers or dryers. Brush piles must also not exceed eight (8) cubic yards.
Other Recycling Options & Service Requests
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Find a recycling drop-off location by simply entering the item you wish to recycle and your zip code: Recycling Drop-off Locations.
SWMD offers multiple locations for customers to dispose of household hazardous waste (HHW). Visit the HHW page for information on these sites.
View information regarding dead animal pick up.
The City will provide several convenient drop-off locations for residents to drop-off their Christmas trees at no cost. View information on Christmas tree drop-off events.