San Francisco Department of the Environment

Refuse Separation Law (for Large Refuse Generators)

Attention Property Owners and Managers                                      

NEW LAW TAKES EFFECT ON JULY 1, 2019

The Refuse Separation law will increase compliance with San Francisco’s mandatory recycling and composting requirements by auditing the refuse (compostables, recyclables, and trash) of large producers, and requiring them to engage staff (“Zero Waste Facilitator”) to ensure adequate material separation, when necessary. The Refuse Separation law only applies to Large Refuse Generators, which are defined as:

  • Accounts with a roll-off compactor, OR
  • Accounts that have at least 40 cubic yards or more of uncompacted refuse service per week. Refuse service includes all hauler serviced collection bins containing recyclables, compostables and trash.

Specifically, the new law requires the following:

  1. Large Refuse Generators must have their refuse audited at least every 3 years to assess compliance with mandatory recycling and composting.
  2. If a property fails an audit and is found to have contamination above set limits in any of the three streams of refuse (recyclables, compostables, and trash), the new law requires them to engage the services of a ”Zero Waste Facilitator” to ensure adequate separation for refuse being collected by a hauler. (See FAQ  for details on contamination limits.)

Resources

Refuse Separation Law (PDF) - the full text of the law 

For additional resources, call SF Environment at (415) 355-3700.


Recycle, compost, landfill bins