Electronic & Universal Waste Recycling

Universal Waste is Prohibited from Landfills in California

In the State of California electronic waste, fluorescent tubes, consumer batteries and mercury thermostats are prohibited from going into the trash. These materials fall into the category known as "Universal Waste", and can harm human health and the environment if they are disposed of improperly. Although these products may not be dangerous to use, most of them contain poisonous heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium that can pollute groundwater near landfills.


Electronic Waste

Electronic Waste

electronicsAlmost anything considered electronic is banned from landfills. These items include computers, monitors, peripherals, phones, TVs, VCRs, DVD players, stereos, microwave ovens, PDAs, and iPods. When they are disposed of, these types of items are called "e-waste".

You can dispose of electronic waste at the Recology San Francisco Transfer Station (the dump).


Limitations on accepting e-waste

Please limit your monthly disposal of e-waste to no more than 30 electronic items. You can dispose of them for free if they are delivered without any other type of trash. More than 30 items are charged at a rate of $1.50 per piece. If the electronics are mixed with trash, the regular tipping fee applies.

attentionElectronics with screens (such as CRTs, TVs, laptops, and portable DVD players) must be of California origin and used in California. These items with screens must be delivered by the user or an employee of the company disposing of them.

Electronics with screens brought in by moving companies or other third party haulers must sign a form stating the name and address of the original user.

Additional disposal options

In addition to dropping your e-waste off at the transfer station, you can have your electronic wastes collected through the Recology Bulky Item Collection Program for free if you are a resident of San Francisco. If you are a business, visit Bulky Item Recycling.

Many Goodwill stores also accept working and non-working electronics.



Consumer Batteries

Batteries used by individuals and households may be dropped off at convenient locations throughout San Francisco or brought to the public disposal area at the transfer station.

Consumer battery types include:

  • Dry cell
  • Alkaline
  • Ni-Cad, and
  • Rechargeable batteries from computers and cell phones

attentionNo lead-acid batteries (such as car or motorcycle batteries) will be accepted.


Disposal at the Transfer Station

Households and businesses may bring up to five gallons of batteries (about 70 pounds) per month for free to the public disposal area at the SF Dump.

emblem-importantMore than 5 gallons are charged at a rate of $1.00 per pound.


Request a Special Pick Up

Learn more about our bulky item pickup program and battery buckets for property managers of large office buildings. Through this program, you can arrange for a special pick up of consumer batteries for office building tenants.

Please call (415) 330-1300 or visit Bulky Item Recycling for more information.

Drop Off Locations Throughout San Francisco

Consumer batteries can be dropped off at many convenience store chains in San Francisco for free. These batteries are picked up by trash company employees, sorted by type and sent to recycling facilities.

For a complete list of drop off sites, visit SFEnvironment.com.


Fluorescent Lamps

Fluorescent Lamps (Tubes & Bulbs)

Disposal at the Transfer StationFluorescent Tubes

Fluorescent lamps can be disposed of for free at the public disposal area of the Recology transfer station for proper disposal. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATIONThere is a 30 lamp per month per customer limit. Customers with more than 30 lamp items per month can recycle the rest for $3.00 per lamp.

The transfer station is the only facility in San Francisco that also accepts other specialty light bulbs, such as mercury vapor and HIDs for recycling. 

No burnt out, regular incandescent bulbs please. These are still non-recyclable trash and should be disposed of in the trash.

Learn more about materials accepted at the dump.

Request a Special Pick Up

Property managers, electrical lighting contractors and other businesses may want to establish a pick up service with fluorescent lamp recycling companies. See SFEnvironment.com for a list of companies that can help.

Drop off Locations Throughout San Francisco

Fluorescent lamps from residents may be dropped off at neighborhood drop-of sites established by the City.

IMPORTANT INFORMATIONAll of these sites only accept fluorescent tubes and compact "curly cue" fluorescent bulbs.

For a list of sites, visit SFEnvironment.com.


Household Hazardous Waste

Programs for San Francisco Residents

San Francisco residents may bring paint, oil, and other chemicals to the Household Hazardous Waste collection facility at the transfer station. Visit the HHW page for requirements to accept materials and instructions. 

Programs for Businesses

Small San Francisco businesses can participate in the Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generator (CESQG) or the Very Small Quantity Generator hazardous waste programs. The Household Hazardous Waste facility at the transfer station is authorized to accept hazardous materials from commercial customers in very small quantities.

attentionWe can not accept more than 100kg of hazardous material from small commercial generators per month, unless the materials are universal waste.

For facility requirements and instructions visit our Household Hazardous Waste page.

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