Commercial Recycling, Composting & Trash Services

commercial recycling commercial composting commercial trash

Recology provides flexible recycle, compost, and landfill collection services to businesses and multifamily buildings in San Francisco. We assist you in reducing the amount of true trash destined for the landfill and increasing the recovery of recyclable materials.

We offer:

  • Services from one to seven days a week, depending on your location
  • Different sizes and types of carts, debris boxes, compactors and balers tailored to fit your business needs
  • An expert team to help you assess and select the most cost-effective containers and services for your recycling program.

Recology operates 24 hours a day and we service containers at the times that are most convenient for you.

emblem-importantVisit the property manager's lounge for more resources. 
Click on the tabs below to learn about the refuse program in San Francisco.



commercial recycling

You can now put more types of material than ever in the blue bin recycling container.


Acceptable Recycling Materials
Only place recyclable materials into your recycling container!
Please rinse food and beverage containers and crush plastics.

Metal (No liquids or food)

  • Aluminum cans
  • Aluminum foil and trays (ball foil up to softball size)
  • Caps and lids from bottles, jars and steel (tin) cans
  • Paint cans (must be empty or dry)
  • Spray cans (must be empty)
  • Steel (tin) cans


Plastic (Except those labeled "compostable". No plastic bags, wrappers or Styrofoam.)

  • Bottles (leave caps on)
  • Buckets (metal handle ok)
  • CD's, DVD's, CDROM & Cases (remove paper insert)
  • Coffee cup lids
  • Containers and clamshells
  • Corks - plastic
  • Cups and plates (plastic only, no Styrofoam)
  • Flower pots and trays - plastic
  • Laundry detergent bottles
  • Molded plastic packaging
  • Toys (no electronics, metal or batteries)
  • Tubs and lids (ie: yogurt containers and Tupperware)
  • Utensils - plastic

Paper (Clean, dry and unsoiled)

  • Bags (paper only, no plastic)
  • Cardboard (non-waxed)
  • Cereal boxes and Paperboard(remove plastic liner)
  • Computer and office paper
  • Egg cartons
  • Envelopes (windows okay)
  • Junk mail and magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Packing or Kraft paper
  • Phonebooks
  • Sticky notes
  • Shredded paper
    (place in sealed paper
    bag and label "Shredded Paper")
  • Wrapping paper


Glass (No liquids or food)

  • Glass bottles and jars only
    (metal caps and lids too)

Unacceptable Recycling Materials
Please do not place the following non-recyclable materials into your blue container!


Do You Have Extra Recycling?

emblem-importantRecycling bin-fullIf you have extra recycling, you may place extra cardboard in a bin, cardboard box or paper bag next to your blue bin at the curb. The cardboard must be broken down to a manageable size (2’x2’) max. The lid on your bin or container must be fully closed at pickup. Additional collection charges may apply. Contact us to change the size of your cart.

Visit SF Environment's website for options to donate reusable items.

Printable Items

recycle poster thumb

You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.


commercial composting

We accept all food scraps, soiled paper, plants and branches in the green composting bin. Only bio-plastics labeled "compostable" and displaying a green or brown stripe may be put there.



Acceptable Composting Materials
Only place materials accepted for composting in your compost bin!

Food Scraps (Anything that used to be alive)

  • Bread, grains and pasta
  • Coffee grounds with paper filter
  • Dairy
  • Eggshells and eggs
  • Fruit (pits and shells too)
  • Leftovers and spoiled food
  • Meat (including bones)
  • Seafood (including shellfish)
  • Tea and tea bags
  • Vegetables


Food Soiled Paper

  • Coffee filters
  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Paper cups and plates
  • Paper ice cream containers
    (metal or plastic rim is OK)
  • Paper bags, napkins, tissues and towels
  • Paper take-out boxes and containers
    (metal handle OK)
  • Tissues
  • Waxy paper milk and juice cartons
    (no foil liner, plastic spout OK)

Plants (Extra yard trimmings must be boxed, bundled or placed in brown paper bags less than 40lbs per item and placed next to the green cart for collection.)

  • Branches and brush
  • Flowers and floral trimmings
  • Grasses and weeds
  • Leaves
  • Tree trimmings
    (less than 6 inches in diameter and 4 feet long)



  • Cotton balls and cotton swabs
  • Hair, fur, and feathers (non-synthetic)
  • Plastic and cutlery clearly labeled "Compostable"
    (green stripe or sticker to allow for easy identification)
  • Vegetable wood crates (metal wire is okay)
  • Waxed cardboard and paper
  • Wood - small pieces of lumber or sawdust from clean wood only
    (no plywood, pressboard, painted,
    stained or treated wood)
  • Wooden chop sticks


Unacceptable Composting Materials
Please do not place the following materials into your green container!



Do You Have Extra Yard Trimmings?

emblem-importantPlace your extra yard trimmings next to your green bin in a compostable bag or bundle them together with string into a manageable size (2'x3'). Please do not leave food scraps outside of your bin or container! The lid on your bin or container must be fully closed at pickup. Additional collection charges may apply. Contact us to change the size of your cart.



Printable Items

compost poster thumb

You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.



Few things, once they are used, are actually trash. Among such things are non-recyclable plastics and other complex materials that were not designed to be recycled.


AcceptableTrash Cart Items
Only place materials that cannot be reused or recycled in your trash bin!

  • Cat litter and animal feces (bagged)
  • Ceramic dishware or glassware
  • Clothing linens and rags
  • Cigarette Butts (extinguished - run under water prior to disposal)
  • Dental floss
  • Diapers
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Foil-backed or plastic-backed paper
  • Glass mirrors and windows
  • Incandescent light bulbs
    (no fluorescents or HIDs)
  • Juice or soy milk type boxes with foil liner
  • Mylar (shiny metal) bags (potato chips, candy bars, balloons, etc)
  • Pens and pencils
  • Plastic bags, wrappers and film
    (not labeled "Compostable")
  • Plastic items mixed with metal, fabric or rubber
  • Plastic labeled "Biodegradable" only
  • Rubber bands
  • Six-pack ring holder - please cut up
  • Sponges
  • Styrofoam
  • Twist Ties
  • Wood - small pieces of plywood, pressboard, and painted or stained wood

Unacceptable Trash Materials
Please do not place the following materials into your trash cart!


Do You Have Extra Trash?

emblem-importantIf you have extra trash that does not fit in your cart, set it out in a sealed bag on top of your cart. Your Recology collector will pick it up and charge your account for the extra service. Contact us to change the size of your cart.

Learn more about trash and zero waste.

Printable Items

waste poster thumb

You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.


Mandatory Recycling & Compost

San Francisco Law

The City and County of San Francisco requires San Francisco residents and businesses to properly separate recyclables and compostables and keep them out of the landfill.

Property owners/managers, including of apartments, condos, TICs, food establishments, and events are required to provide color-coded, labeled containers in convenient locations: blue for recycling, green for composting, and black for trash. You must also educate tenants, employees, contractors, and janitors on what goes in each container. Food vendors that provide disposable food service ware or to-go containers must have blue, green, and black containers for use by customers and visitors, placed inside near a main exit.

Residential Property Owners
Blue recycling and green composting carts are free with your trash service. You may be able to lower your trash bill by recycling and composting more, and ordering a smaller black trash cart.
Recology provides apartment starter kits and pails for tenants to collect kitchen food scraps. Food scraps can also be placed in paper milk cartons, paper bags, or wrapped in paper before being placed in the green cart.

Ask your manager to sign up for composting, recycling, and trash service.
Renters can report unresponsive managers by using the anonymous form at www.SFEnvironment.org/mandatory.

Learn more about the Mandatory Recycling and Composting Ordinance.


State Law

California Assembly Bill 341 (CA AB 341) is a new state law that mandates recycling for all businesses that generate more than 4 cubic yards of solid waste per week and multifamily dwellings of 5 units or more.

recycle logo

Mandatory commercial recycling was among the first measures adopted in the AB 32 Scoping Plan by the California Air Resources Board pursuant to the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. Mandatory commercial recycling increases waste diversion from landfills to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. AB 341 is designed to reduce GHG emissions in the state by 5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2).

Businesses and public entities can subscribe to composting and recycling services or self-haul materials to the transfer station. Property owners of a commercial business or multifamily residential dwelling may require tenants to source separate their recyclable materials to aid in compliance.

Recology provides a recycling and composting guide to businesses so that they can recycle in San Francisco.

Learn more about AB 341 on CalRecycle's website.  




Contact our customer service department to speak with a real person about your service needs.