Put items in the right bin with these recycling and composting guidelines.
Recycle plastic, metal, glass, and paper. Empty containers prior to recycling.
Plastic: rigid and hard plastics only (empty buckets, cups, yogurt containers)
Metal: cans, tins, party trays, aluminum foil
Glass: bottles, jars (no bakeware, glassware, or dishware)
Paper: junk mail, cardboard, newspaper, magazines. Put shredded paper in a paper bag, staple it closed, and label it "shredded paper"
Compostable items include food, food-soiled paper, and anything that was once alive.
Food: all food scraps, trimmings and spoiled leftovers
Plant trimmings: leaves, flowers, and weeds
Soiled paper products: used paper napkins and towels, plates, coffee cups, coated paper cartons (milk and juice), and paper to-go containers
Search on RecycleWhere to find out how to dispose of just about anything.
Some materials are difficult to recycle or compost and for now, must be landfilled.
Mylar film: chip bags, candy wrappers and other mylar film
Aseptic containers: multi-material packaging such as broth and juice boxes (Tetra-paks)
Special glass: glass dishware, bakeware and auto glass
Donate unwanted items: clothing, appliances, furniture
Bulky Items: couches, TVs, monitors
Search on RecycleWhere for alternatives to landfilling items:
Styrofoam: styrofoam peanuts and blocks
Tools and resources
- Recycling & Composting Requirements for Residents
- How do I start composting in my kitchen?
- Zero Waste Toolkit for Households and Tenants
- Recycling and Composting in San Francisco - FAQs
- Myths about Recycling in San Francisco
- Make your own compost, recycle, and landfill signs (interactive tool)
- Compost, Recycle, Landfill pamphlet (tri-fold 6- page PDF)
- Compost, Recycle, and Landfill posters (PDF)
- Poster Announcing New Green Bins (PDF)
How do I get rid of...
- Are plastic bags and plastic wrap recyclable in San Francisco?
- How do I recycle household batteries?
- How do I know if a utensil, cup, or plate is compostable in San Francisco?
- How do I stop unwanted handbills on my property?
- I already recycle and compost. How else can I reduce waste?
- Where does recycling go? (Video, Bay Curious/KQED News)