SF Environment, the Commission on the Environment, the Board of Supervisors, and the Mayor have all helped adopt policies to promote or require zero waste practices.

Below is a list of the City of San Francisco's zero waste related policies.

San Francisco Zero Waste Commitments
Sets new citywide zero waste commitments and issues challenge to other cities.
Read the Commitments (September 2018)

Zero Waste Declaration
San Francisco and other cities sign zero waste declaration with new ambitious commitments.
Read the Declaration (August 2018)

Resolution Adopting Zero Waste Goal
Adopted goals of 75 percent landfill diversion citywide by 2010 and zero waste.
Read the policy (PDF, 2002)

Resolution Setting Zero Waste Date
Set the date of 2020 for zero waste goal.
Read the policy (PDF, 2003)


  • Regulation Implementing Refuse Separation Compliance Ordinance
    Regulation requirements for Large Refuse Generators to implement the Refuse Separation Ordinance.
    Read the regulation (PDF, 2019)
  • Refuse Separation Compliance Ordinance
    Amends the existing Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance to require audits every three years of large refuse generators for compliance with refuse separation requirements; and to establish enforcement measures applicable to large refuse generators found non-compliant.
    Learn More / Read the policy (PDF, 2018)
  • Mandatory Recycling & Composting Ordinance
    Passed by the Board of Supervisors in June of 2009, this ordinance requires everyone in San Francisco to separate recyclables, compostables and landfill -bound trash. Learn more: FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).
    Read the policy (PDF, 2009)
  • Adequate Space for Trash, Recyclable and Compostable Materials
    Provides standards for adequate space requirements and chute design for recycling, composting and trash handling systems.
    Read the policy (PDF, 2014)

Producer Responsibility Resolution 
Supports statewide efforts to hold producers responsible for product waste and agencies to include producer responsibility language in city purchasing contracts. Read the policy.

Producer Responsibility Framework Resolution 
Urges State to enact an extended producer responsibility framework. Read the policy.

Plastic, including Polystyrene Foam

Single-Use Food Ware Plastics, Toxics, and Litter Reduction Ordinance

  • Single-Use Food Ware Plastics, Toxics, and Litter Reduction Ordinance (October, 2018) 
    Amends the July, 2018 Ordinance by making single use plastic straws available upon request for people with disabilities and medical needs and single-use straws are not to be available in self-serve areas.  
    Read moreRead the policy (PDF) 
  • Single-Use Food Ware Plastics, Toxics, and Litter Reduction Ordinance (July, 2018) 
    Prohibits the sale or use of single-use food service ware made with fluorinated chemicals and certain items made with plastic, requires that food service ware accessories be provided only on request or at self-service stations, and requires reusable beverage cups at events on City property. 
    Read the policy (PDF)

Food Service Waste and Packaging Reduction Ordinance

  • Food Service Waste and Packaging Reduction Ordinance - extended (2016) 
    Amends the existing ordinance to prohibit the sale of food service ware and other specified products including packing materials made from polystyrene foam or are non-recyclable and non-compostable.  
    Learn more / Read the policy (PDF) / Regulations (PDF) 
  • Food Service Waste Reduction Ordinance (2006) 
    Prohibits the use of Styrofoam or polystyrene foam food service ware and requires the use of food ware that is compostable or recyclable. Learn more with our FAQs
    Learn more / Read the policy (PDF)

Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance

  • Amended Checkout Bag Charge and Recyclable or Compostable Pre-Checkout Bag Requirement (2019) 
    Ordinance amended the Environment Code to raise amount stores must charge for checkout bags from 10 cents to 25 cents per bag and to require that pre-checkout bags provided to customers before they reach the point of sale be recyclable or compostable. 
    Learn moreRead the policy
  • Extended Bag Reduction Ordinance - extended (2012) 
    Requires the use of compostable plastic, recyclable paper and/or reusable checkout bags by all retail establishments starting October 1, 2012 and requires these establishments to charge a minimum of ten cents per bag. For more information see our factsheet or FAQs
    Read the policy
  • Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance (2007) 
    Requires the use of compostable plastic, recyclable paper and/or reusable checkout bags by supermarkets and drugstores. 
    Read the policy.

Plastic Beverage Container Recycled Content Resolution 
Urges the California State Legislature to require all single-use plastic beverage containers sold in the state to have a minimum of 25% post-consumer recycled content. Read the policy.

Marine Plastic Pollution Producer Responsibility  
Supports a California Statewide producer responsibility program to minimize marine plastic pollution. Read the policy.

Cigarette Litter

Cigarette Litter Abatement Fee Ordinance 
Establishes a fee of $0.85 per pack of cigarettes sold in San Francisco to recover the cost of cigarette litter clean-up from city streets, sidewalks, and other public properties. Read the policy.

Yellow Pages

Requires Yellow Pages distributors to get the approval, or opt-in agreement of all San Francisco residents before delivering phone book directories. Learn more with our FAQs. Read the policy.

City Government

Green Building Requirement for City Buildings 
Requires City government construction to manage debris and provide adequate recycling storage space in buildings.
Read the policy

Green Building Regulations
Regulations implementing Green Building and Construction & Demolition Debris Recovery Requirements for Municipal Projects.
Read the policy

City Government Construction Recycled Content Ordinance 
Requires recycled content materials to be used in public works and improvement projects.
Read the policy

Disaster Debris Recycling Resolution
Policy for City Departments to maximize reuse and recycling of debris in the event of a disaster. 
Read the policy


C&D Debris Recovery Ordinance 
Requires C&D projects to use permitted transporters and city-registered debris processing facilities to increase resource recovery. Learn more about this law with our ordinance fact sheet.
Learn more / Read the policy

Regulations Implementing the C&D Debris Recovery Ordinance - Regulation #SFE-5-18-CDO 
Requires registered facilities to have their overall facility recovery rate verified by an SFE approved qualified 3rd-party verifier.
Read the policy

Regulations Implementing the C&D Debris Recovery Ordinance - Regulation #SFE-21-02-C&D 
Provides clarity on the annual permit cycle for the improved implementation of the C&D Debris Recovery Ordinance. 
Read the policy

Demolition Notice Ordinance 

Provides notice of demolition to recycling companies.
Read the policy

Bottle Filling Stations
Requires new buildings that have drinking fountains to provide bottle filling stations.
Read the policy

Waste Prevention

Resource Conservation Ordinance
Requires city departments to prevent waste, maximize recycling, buy products with recycled content and appoint a Zero Waste Coordinator to lead these efforts.
Read the policy

Bottled and Package Free Water Ordinance
Amends the Bottled Water Ordinance to include restricting the sale of packaged water which is defined as drinking water in a sealed, box, bag, can, glass bottle, rigid plastic bottle or other container and having a capacity of 1 liter or less.
Read the policy

Bottled Water Ordinance
Restricts the sale or distribution on City property of drinking water in plastic bottles of 21 ounces or less, set City policy to increase the availability of drinking water in public areas, and bar the use of City funds to purchase bottled water.
Read the policy

Mayor's Executive Order on Bottled Water
Prohibits San Francisco city departments from using public funds to purchase bottled water.
Read the policy

Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Ordinance 

Requires an environmentally preferable purchasing program for commodities purchased by the City.
Read the policy

Precautionary Purchasing Regulation
Sets recycled content and other guidelines for commodities regularly purchased by city departments.
Read the policy

Reuse, Recycling, Composting

Mayor's Executive Order Enhancing Recycling and Resource Conservation
Requires Departments to purchase 100 percent post-consumer recycled content paper, to reduce paper usage, and to purchase only approved green products.
Read the policy

Mayor's Executive Order on Recycling and Resource Conservation
Summarizes existing zero waste legislation, expands on the role of the City's Zero Waste Coordinators and requires defaults on multi-function devices to be set to double-sided printing.
Read the policy

Surplus Disposal Ordinance
Establishes a reuse and recycling hierarchy for redistributing excess city equipment and supplies.
Read the policy

Resolution: Urging the State of California to Require a Minimum of 25% Post-Consumer Recycled Content in Plastic Beverage Containers
Urges the California State Legislature to require all single-use plastic beverage containers sold in the state to have a minimum of 25% post-consumer recycled content.
Read the policy

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