Safely dispose of your toxic products.
Every household has hazardous products. 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.
Safe Disposal Options
ATTENTION: These special services for household toxic products are available for San Francisco residents ONLY. Find programs in other Bay Area counties.
- ACCEPTED: You can dispose of your oil-based paints, solvents, cleaning products, pesticides, fertilizers, automotive products, photo chemicals, mercury thermometers and non-empty aerosols with the free home pick up service.
- 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.
- 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 to the household hazardous waste facility.
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 convenient drop off locations near you for the following items:
- Fluorescent tubes and bulbs - many hardware stores take back light bulbs (CFLs)
- Used motor oil and filters - many auto repair stations take back used motor oil and filters
- House paint (latex and oil-based)
- Household Batteries - alkaline & rechargable, 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 or large electronics. (Recycle My Junk)
- 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 desinated 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 - Get information on safe storage and packaging of "sharps."
ATTENTION: Quantity limits apply. No store takes back all items. Containers must have a label. No leaking or damaged containers.
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 Rd. (at The Dump)
8 A.M. - 4 P.M. - Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays ONLY
- Only San Francisco residents can use this Facility. 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 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.
What about empty containers?
Household chemical containers which are empty, dry, and 5 gallons 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.
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.