Some items should not go in the black, green, or blue bin. These items are hazardous waste.
Improperly disposing of items that don't go in the black, green, or blue bins can harm the environment and people. San Francisco residents can safely get rid of hazardous waste. Request a free home pick up of the waste. Find a drop-off location near you. Go to Recology's Household Hazardous Waste Facility.
Request a free household hazardous waste pick-up
San Francisco residents can call Recology at (415) 330-1405. Or email them at email@example.com to schedule a FREE home pick-up from your San Francisco residence.
Appointments are available Wednesday to Saturday mornings. You must be present at the time of pick-up.
The following items are accepted:
- Oil-based paints
- Cleaning products
- Automotive products
- Photo chemicals
- Mercury thermometers
- Non-empty aerosols
The following items are not accepted:
- Medicines and needles
- Unknown or unlabeled hazardous substances. They must be taken directly to the household hazardous waste facility.
Visit the Recology website to learn more.
Depending on where you live, you might have neighborhood stores like hardware stores, pharmacies, auto shops, or paint stores that take back one or more of the following hazardous products. Ask at the store where you bought it.
Or use SFRecycles to find a convenient drop-off location near you for the following items:
- Fluorescent tubes CFL or HID bulbs - many hardware stores take back light bulbs that are hazardous waste
- Used motor oil and filters - many auto repair stations and parts stores take back used motor oil and filters
- House paint (latex and oil-based)
- Household Batteries - alkaline & rechargeable, AA, AAA, D, button batteries, etc. Read this important safety information on storing and transporting batteries.
- TV's, Computers, Cell Phones and Electronics
- Large electronics: Get information on Recology's free pick-up service for TVs, computer equipment, and other electronics. (Bulky Items)
- Small empty propane tanks and cylinders - refillable, single-use. For tanks and cylinders which are not empty, use home pick-up service or permanent facility programs.
- Medicine - Medicine disposal is only available at designated neighborhood drop-off sites. Medicines are NOT accepted by Recology's home pick-up service or at Recology's Permanent Facility.
- Used and Un-used Needles & Syringes - More information about safe storage and packaging of "sharps."
ATTENTION: Quantity limits apply. No store takes back all items. Containers must have a label and a lid or cap. No leaking or damaged containers.
You can take your hazardous products to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility:
San Francisco Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility
501 Tunnel Ave., San Francisco, CA 94134 (at The Dump)
8 A.M. - 4 P.M. - Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
- Only San Francisco residents can use this program for hazardous waste from their home. You must bring proof of residence (driver’s license or utility bill).
- Limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds per visit
- No drums, compressed gas cylinders (except small or BBQ size propane) or containers larger than five (5) gallons
- No medicines
- Pack household chemicals in a sturdy box and transport them in your trunk or truck bed outside of your breathing zone.
- Put each leaking or damaged container in a separate box, plastic tub, or zip-lock bag.
- Get more information on the San Francisco Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.
Dangers of Household Hazardous Waste
Old containers of household chemicals can deteriorate and leak. When stored inside your home, this can cause dangerous fumes and fires or rainwater runoff pollution when stored outside.
When disposed of improperly, these products end up in landfill or down the drain. They can leach toxic chemicals and heavy metals into the soil and groundwater. Workers can be injured when these products are crushed in garbage and recycling trucks or poured down the drain.
What about empty containers?
Household chemical containers that are empty, dry, and five gallons in size or less can be safely and legally recycled.
- Recycle: Empty cans of aerosol and latex paint (acrylic or water-based) may be placed in your blue recycling bin. All nozzles, caps, and lids must be removed and placed separately into the blue recycling bin.
- Landfill: Put all other types of empty hazardous waste containers into your black bin for disposal. Do not try to recycle these containers.
- Call 415.355.3700 for information on recycling empty containers larger than five gallons.
Even better than recycling: reduce and reuse
To avoid the worry of how to store and dispose of household hazardous waste:
- Buy only what you need.
- Share unused products or half full containers with your friends or neighbors.
- Use up the products you purchase
ATTENTION: These special services for household hazardous products are available for San Francisco residents ONLY.