SAN ANTONIO -

A pilot program to recycle organic material such as shredded paper and grass clippings into compost will be become a city-wide option for San Antonio residents in the coming months.

Pizza boxes, leaves and other organic yard refuse -- as well as food scraps -- can also be placed in a third green-colored bin.

"All of those types of items can be put into the third cart and those items will get recycled once a week along with your garbage collection," said Tiffany Edmonds, spokesperson for the City San Antonio Solid Waste Management Department.

Unlike the solid waste recycling program with the blue-colored bins, participation in this program isn't automatic. An additional $3 fee will be charged to participants.

"Only residents that buy in or opt into the program will be charged the additional fee in their monthly bill. Other residents that decide that they do not want the program, then they wont be charged that three-dollar fee," Edmonds said.

The fee covers the cost of the collection and transport of the organic material.

Once the material is collected, it is transported to a local company, New Earth, at 7800 Interstate 10 East, for composting.

That organic material is eventually mixed in to their products like potting soil and sold locally in San Antonio.

Residents can also purchase the raw compost directly from the company.

"We also encourage residents, and teach them how to do backyard composting if they'd like to do that, too," Edmonds said.

Check with your HOA to make sure composting is allowed in your neighborhood.

For more information on the organic recycling program go to the City of San Antonio Solid Waste Management website.

Info on composting at home can be found here.