Recycling: San Antonio to accept plastic bags in curbside pickup

This screen shot shows the San Antonio Solid Waste Management Department's logo, via its Facebook page.

If you don’t have some of those nice reusable shopping bags or say “paper please” when in the checkout line at the grocery store, breath a sigh of relief because San Antonio will now accept plastic bags in its recycling program.

Solid Waste Management Department Public Relations Manager Tiffany Edwards said people can add those pesky plastic bags to their recycling on Aug. 1.

“We are starting with a new recycling processor that can accept the bags so that allows us to add it to the list of items we can accept,” Edwards said, adding that the move gives San Antonians another option to recycle the bags, in addition to major grocers and retailers that will typically take the bags back and recycle them.

The new recycler is Recommunity Recycling, which has its corporate headquarters in Charlotte, N.C.

Edwards said residents should take one plastic bag and stuff all the other ones in it until it is about the size of a soccer ball before tossing it in the bin.

But not all plastic bags are accepted.

“We’re telling everybody no black bags, no trash bags,” Edwards said. “We want the translucent ones. We can take dry cleaning bags, sandwich bags and Zip Loc bags, as long as the zip is taken out. Tortilla and bread bags can be recycled, just clean them and get the bread crumbs out.”

And don’t forget to take your receipts out of you grocery bags either, she said.

Black bags aren’t accepted because the bags are a different grade of plastic than the translucent ones and because workers can’t see into the bags, they pose a hazard, Edwards said.

So why start accepting plastic bags now?

“Across the nation, a lot of processors can’t take them because they get stuck in the machinery,” Edwards said.

But the city’s new processor can.

For more information, Edwards said visit or the department's city website.