Recycling and Managing Toxic Products for City Departments

San Francisco City staff must safely dispose of these hazardous wastes:

Hazardous waste is waste that is flammable, toxic, corrosive, or reactive.  If you have hazardous wastes that need to be discarded, they cannot go in any recycling or refuse containers and are illegal to put in the landfill.

The Department of Public Health picks up toxic products for City departments, using a licensed hauler to collect hazardous wastes. 

Schedule a Pickup. 

To schedule a pick-up of toxic products and hazardous wastes, call the Department of Public Health at (415) 252-3962 or fill out the pickup form.

These items are handled differently: 

Gently used appliances and electronics. If you have items or supplies that are usable, like working electronics, including computer monitors or electrical appliances, contact the Virtual Warehouse, an on-line system for San Francisco City employees to submit and receive used appliances and electronics. 

Rechargeable batteries and electronics. Call2recycle recycles rechargeable batteries, cell phones, digital cameras, or mobile phones. Fill out a request form for free recycling boxes. Once the box is full, call the delivery person and ship it for free.  

Post signs.

Print hazardous waste disposal signs and post them at your department. 

If you can't print, order hazardous wastes disposal signs here.

Reduce waste.

Buy less. The best way to reduce toxic waste is to buy less in the first place. Check the Virtual Warehouse before buying new items.  

Buy safer products. San Francisco City departments are required by the Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Ordinance to buy environmentally preferable, or green, products. The law applies to departmental purchases as well as purchases from Citywide contracts. Visit SF Approved for a complete list of green products, as well as prohibited products. SF Approved contains:

  • Green products currently on citywide term contracts
  • Names of vendors carrying the products
  • Information on specifications or ecolabels for buying products

Learn more. 

If you need additional information about recycling and managing hazardous waste, contact the Zero Waste Coordinator at your department, or call the Department of the Environment at (415)355-3700.