Pay as You Throw

Pay As You Throw (PAYT) is one of the City’s initiatives from our City Council approved Recycling Plan, which includes the City’s goal to reach a 60% residential recycling rate by 2025. Today our recycling rate is 31%. As part of the pay as you throw program, San Antonio residents can choose between three brown garbage cart sizes: a small 48-gallon cart, a medium 64-gallon cart or a large 96-gallon cart.

In addition to being able to choose their brown cart size, all residents also are offered a green 96-gallon organics recycling cart. In the green cart, residents can recycle items such as grass clippings, leaves, and other yard trimmings, food scraps, shredded paper and soiled paper products. Residents have the option to keep or not keep the Green Cart. In addition, residents keep their current 96-gallon blue cart for non-organics recycling.

The monthly pricing is based on the brown cart size so that the smaller the brown cart the lower your bill. Today, depending on the cart size, the monthly bill can be as low as $20.43 per month and up to $22.18 per month for those customers who select a 96-gallon brown cart.

This past fall, the Solid Waste Management Department began the implementation of Pay As You Throw pilot program with a group of residents and successfully converted approximately 28,000 homes to the program. These homes were selected from each of the 10 Council Districts.

During the City’s development phase, 90% of our residents kept their green organics cart. We have seen an increase in the amount of organics material collected during the first quarter of FY 16. An additional 774 tons of material has been collected or an increase of 60% from last year.

Now that the initial phase is over, our solid waste staff will begin the roll out to all customers. A total of 190,000 residents will have the program by October, and the program will be completely rolled out to all San Antonio residents by spring of 2017.

Once again, staff will be continuing their comprehensive approach to educating residents about the PAYT program. We will host 70 community meetings as well as provide residents with educational materials. All of our educational material is provided in both English and Spanish.

For questions on the program, residents can call 207-6428 or visit

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