San Francisco Department of the Environment

Safe Disposal (Get Rid of Household Hazardous Waste)

 

Light bulbs, paint, batteries

Every household has products that are hazardous to dispose of:

  • Light bulbs
  • Batteries
  • Electronics (appliances, 
  • Paint
  • Pesticides
  • Household cleaners

Request a free household hazardous waste pick-up.

San Francisco residents get special services for household toxic products.Call Recology at (415) 330-1405 to schedule a Free Home Pick-up from your San Francisco residence. Appointments are available on Saturdays. You must be present at the time of pick-up.

ACCEPTED: With the free home pick up service, you can dispose of the following: 

  • Oil-based paints
  • Solvents
  • Cleaning products
  • Pesticides
  • Fertilizers
  • Automotive products
  • Photo chemicals
  • Mercury thermometers 
  • Non-empty aerosols

NOT ACCEPTED: 

  • Old and expired Medicines and Needles cannot be collected by the home pick up service. Click here for information on safe medicine disposal.
  • Unknown or unlabeled toxic and other hazardous substances cannot be collected by the home pick up service.  They must be taken directly to the household hazardous waste facility.

Find a drop-off location near you.

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 toxic products. Ask at the store where you bought it or use RecycleWhere to find a convenient drop off location near you for the following items:

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.


Drop off at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility

You can take your toxic 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.  - Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays ONLY

Requirements

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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, causing dangerous fumes and fires when stored inside your house, or polluting rainwater runoff when stored outside.

When disposed improperly, these products end up in the 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 which are empty, dry and five gallons in size or smaller can be safely and legally recycled. 

  • Recycle: Empty cans of aerosol paint 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, 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

Related Content

Learn more about how to safely dispose of: Light BulbsBatteriesMotor Oil and Filters

Find programs in other Bay Area counties.

ATTENTION: These special services for household toxic products are available for San Francisco residents ONLY. Find programs in other Bay Area counties.