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

Managing toxic products for City departments 

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.

  • Contact your facility or office manager to see if your department already has a program for hazardous waste disposal.  If not, please consult your department's Environmental and Health Safety Officer or management to set up a program. 
  • For battery recycling, consider getting a free household battery recycling bins from Staples. Questions? Contact 877-826-7755. When full, mail them for free so they can be recycled.

Safely dispose of other Items

  • At the City's Virtual Warehouse, you can also give or get surplus City items (appliances, furniture, electronics, equipment, office supplies, metal, wood, etc.)
  • Empty ink and toner cartridges.  Pack them in a box and give them to a Staples driver the next time they deliver.  If you get Staples supplies via UPS or FedEx, login and get prepaid mailing labels.  If you have 50 or more cartridges, arrange a bulk pick up with

Post signs.

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

You may also order preprinted hazardous waste disposal signs here


Consult the Department of Public Health to set up a memorandum of understanding

If your department or office has no existing program for hazardous waste, one option is to set up an MOU with the Department of Public Health for hazardous waste pickups. Contact them at (415) 252-3800 or fill out the inquiry form


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.