San Francisco Department of the Environment

Recycling and Managing Toxic Products for City Departments

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

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.

The Department of Public Health may be one option to help manage your hazardous waste.. 

 Contact the Department of Public Health. 

To contact the Department of Public Heath about hazardous waste disposal, call (415) 252-3962 or fill out the inquiry form.

 Safely Dispose of Other Items that aren't Allowed in the Landfill:

  • At the City's Virtual Warehouse, you can also give or get working or broken surplus City items (applicances, furniture, electronics, equipment, office supplies, metal, wood, etc.).

  • Batteries. Get free household battery recycling bins from Staples. Questions? Contact 877-826-7755. When full, mail them for free so they can be recycled.

  • 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 [email protected].

 Post signs.

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

If you can't print, order hazardous wastes disposal signs here.

 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.