Hazardous Waste

It is illegal to put items such as electronics, batteries, fluorescent bulbs, pesticides, and other chemicals in any of your bins. These items are not recyclable, compostable, nor are they allowed in our landfills.

Residential Curbside Pickup
If you have a number of items, you may schedule a free pick-up by calling customer service: (415) 330-1405. You’ll be asked to describe the types and amounts of the household hazardous waste you have for pickup.

  • Pickups are available from Wednesdays – Saturdays, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM.
  • Hazardous waste containers cannot be left outside on the sidewalk, so you must be home.
  • Priority is given to disabled and elderly residents who do not drive.

We are not currently able to pick up unknown or unlabeled wastes. If you have unknown chemicals, please let us know when you call so we can advise.

Business Very Small Quantity Generator Program (VSQG)
If your San Francisco-based business generates a small amount of hazardous waste (less than 220 pounds per month, or 27 gallons), you may dispose of it through the Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQG) Program. For more information, please click on the tab below.

BATTERIES

Batteries

Curbside Battery Collection
Put household batteries (e.g. rechargeable, alkaline, button) inside a tightly sealed plastic bag, and place on top of your closed landfill bin. Please tape both ends of all lithium batteries.

Apartment Battery Bucket Collection
Check to see if your building has an orange battery bucket. If you don’t see one in a shared location, contact your property manager to request one.

Property Managers
Let us know you need a battery bucket and we’ll deliver a bucket, informational poster, and postcards for you to distribute to your tenants notifying them of the program. When the bucket is full, anyone can call the number on the bucket for a free pickup. Download the apartment/condo battery recycling poster.

Drop Off
Residents can drop off batteries at any Walgreens in San Francisco, most hardware stores, or the SF Transfer Station Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Households and businesses may bring up to five gallons of batteries (about 70 pounds) per month for free to the public disposal area at the SF Transfer Station. More than 5 gallons are charged at a rate of $1.00 per pound.

For safety, please tape over the contact points of each lithium battery. Look for “Lithium” or “Li” (most button and rechargeable batteries).

COOKING OIL

Cooking Oil

Recovering cooking oil is extremely important, since it clogs our City’s water systems and can pose a threat to piping – not to mention that used oils can be reused as biofuel. Solidified oil, such as lard or bacon grease, can be placed into your green composting bin for collection and recycling.

Drop off – Residents and Businesses
We accept oil at the SF Transfer Station from Thursday – Saturday, 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Limit of 20 gallons/day/customer. Containers of cooking oil must be no larger than 5 gallons in size (i.e., no large drums). Please make sure your used cooking oil does not contain water, soapsuds, and/or food debris.

The oil is collected by SFGreasecycle, the City of San Francisco’s Bio-fuel Program, and used to manufacture a cleaner-burning renewable fuel to use in MUNI buses, fire trucks and other city vehicles. For more information check out the City’s bio-fuel website or call the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

MEDICATIONS

Medications

When medications are disposed of in the trash or down the drain, they can find their way into our waterways and negatively impact frogs, fish and other aquatic life.

Drop off medications for safe handling at any San Francisco police station and select pharmacies. Visit www.sfenvironment.org/medicinedisposal for a full list of medication drop-off locations.

Federal Drug Enforcement Administration rules do not allow us to accept medicine at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility or through our Door-to-Door HHW collection programs.

PAINT

Paint

We recycle and reuse most paint that we receive at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility, much of which is offered for free to residents.

Drop off

  • Drop off up to 5 gallons of paint per resident at the following sites.
  • Center Hardware, 999 Mariposa @ Pennsylvania: (415) 861-1800
  • Cliff’s Variety, 479 Castro St. @ 18th: (415) 431-5365
  • Cole Hardware, 3312 Mission @ 29th St: (415) 647-8700
  • Cole Hardware, 2254 Polk @ Green: (415) 674-8913
  • Cole Hardware, 956 Cole St. @ Parnassus: (415) 753-2653
  • Cole Hardware, 70 4th St. @ Mission: (415) 777-4400
  • Fredericksen Hardware, 3029 Fillmore @ Union: (415) 292-2950
  • Golden City Building Supply, 1279 Pacific @ Leavenworth: (415) 441-0941
  • Roberts Hardware, 1629 Haight @ Clayton: (415) 431-3392
  • Last’s Paint Clearance Center, 2141 Mission @ Sycamore: (415) 437-0633

You may also drop off paint at the SF Transfer Station Household Hazardous Waste Facility.

Pickup Free Recycled Paint
Our recycled paint is not thinned down, and covers well, as opposed to some new latex paints. Plus, it’s free! Recycled paint is given away on a first come, first serve basis during regular facility business hours, and you do not have to be a resident or business in San Francisco to receive our paint.

Available Colors:
Warm colors: Sandpiper (beige), Fawn (tan), and Fort Funston (brown)
Cool colors: Sage (green-gray) San Francisco Fog (blue-gray), and Granite (gray)

ASBESTOS

Asbestos

We recommend hiring an asbestos abatement company to safely remove asbestos from homes or businesses. The hazardous particles that are released into the air upon removal are so small that you can’t see them, and they can cause serious health problems if you breathe them in.

Drop off
Once removed, prepare for safe transport and disposal:

Wet the asbestos with water and place it in heavy duty trash bags, or bags made specifically for asbestos removal. The bag must be at least 6 millimeters thick at minimum (you can find thick bags or double up). Ducts and pipes must be no longer than 5 feet. If you can’t find bags that are large enough, double wrap the ducts and pipes with heavy duty plastic and duct tape. Each bag should weigh no more than 30 pounds. Write “Waste Asbestos” on each bag.

Small Businesses (generates less than 220 lbs of waste/month):
$0.25/lb; schedule an appointment in advance.

Residents:
Free; limit of 125 lbs/ trip

For more information about asbestos, contact San Francisco’s Department of Public Health: (415) 252-3951.

SHARPS

Sharps

Sharps or needles that are improperly disposed of in the trash or recycling can pose a health hazard to our garbage collectors and our environment. Please properly dispose of sharps using a biohazard container.

Drop off
Residents with medical conditions requiring the use of hypodermic needles may pick up a free Sharps Container at any Walgreens pharmacy in San Francisco. When it is full, just return it to Walgreens for proper management.

 

VERY SMALL QUANTITY GENERATOR PROGRAM

Motor Oil

The Household Hazardous Waste facility at the transfer station is authorized to accept hazardous materials from commercial customers in very small quantities.

If your San Francisco-based business generates a small amount of hazardous waste (less than 220 pounds per month, or 27 gallons), you may dispose of it through the Very Small Quantity Generators (VSQG) Drop-Off Program by dropping it off at the SF Transfer Station. The program is designed to save small businesses money on disposal costs and ensure proper disposal of hazardous waste.

VSQG Drop-off Days are held twice per month, and the number of appointments is limited. Please make an appointment ahead of time to secure a spot. To make an appointment call: (415) 330-1425.

The Details:

  1. A VSQG business can dispose of up to 27 gallons of hazardous waste, or one quart, of extremely hazardous waste through this program each month.
  2. State law requires hazardous waste generators to have an EPA identification number prior to the participation of VSQG program. For more information about obtaining an EPA ID number, call Cal-EPA at: (800) 618-6942.
  3. Local and state laws may require you to get a Certificate of Compliance from the Department of Public Health, Hazardous Materials Unified Program Agency if you generate, treat, or store certain quantities of hazardous materials or waste. Call: (415) 252-3900 for information.

Drop-off Rates
Fees for the Drop-off Program depend on the type and amount of waste. These prices are partially subsidized by San Francisco trash bills.

Waste Type Fee
Batteries
All types of batteries, alkaline and rechargeable.
FREE, up to 5 gallons per month
More than 5 gallons: $1.00 per pound
Motor Oil & Car Batteries
FREE
Fluorescent Tubes, Lamps, CFLS FREE, up to 30 per month. More than 30 tubes/lamps: $3.00 per unit
Asbestos (in 30 lb. bags) $0.25 per pound
Lead paint chips $0.50 per pound
Waste in spray cans $1.00 per can
PaintCare Paint FREE
Non-PaintCare Paint $3.00 per gallon
Printing ink $4.00 per gallon
Solvents $4.00 per gallon
Mercury Amalgam $11.00 per pound
Compressor oil $4.00 per gallon
Flammable solids $4.00 per gallon; $0.49/pound
Sludges $4.00 per gallon
Photofixers and developers $4.00 per gallon
Poisons $5.00 per gallon; $0.60/pound
Acids and bases $5.00 per gallon
Oxidizers $6.00 per gallon
Antifreeze $1.00 per gallon
Unknowns HHW
$15.00 per gallon