Apartment Rates

Apartment Rates

Apartment Rates

Apartment customers are multi-dwelling buildings, townhomes, and condominium properties with six or more units that receive one monthly bill for refuse collection services. If you are not sure if your property is considered an apartment building under San Francisco’s refuse rate structure, please feel free to contact us.

State law requires all properties to subscribe to trash removal. In San Francisco that’s the black bin. Each dwelling unit is required to be provided with 16 gallons per week of black bin trash service. City ordinance mandates that all properties not place recyclables or compostables in the trash by participating in the recycling (blue bin) and compost (green bin) collection programs.

The monthly rate, approved by the City, for apartment buildings includes a base charge of $5.16 per dwelling unit, plus a volume charge of $25.90 for each 32 gallons of capacity for all bin types (black, blue and green).

Diversion Discount

Apartment buildings that sort materials correctly into their recycling and compost bins qualify for a diversion discount. This discount rewards customers for recycling and composting as much as possible and reducing the volume of materials they send to landfill.

Your diversion discount is a percentage you will receive off your monthly bill.  To calculate your diversion discount, the following formula is used:

Diversion discount = (total recycling & composting gallons)/(total trash, recycling, &  compost gallons) x 100%  - 10%

The maximum diversion discount is 75 percent off your monthly bill.


Example charges for a 6-Unit Apartment Building with 96-gallon black bin, 96 gallon blue bin and 64-gallon green bin:


Bin Charges (32-gals @ $25.90 x 8) $207.20
Diversion Discount (53%)* -$109.82
Subtotal Volume Charges $97.38
Base charges (6 units x $5.16) $30.96

*Diversion discount = (96+64)/(96+96+64) x 100% – 10% = 53%

Under the new rate structure reducing the amount of trash you produce and recycling and composting more will help lower your refuse bill. Getting material properly separated into the blue and green bins is not just good for our environment; it can save you money.

Premium services such as key, distance and elevation remain available and, if subscribed to, will be part of the monthly bill.  Premium charges will be applied to all services and we encourage all of our customers to try to have their collection point as close as possible to the curb.  For more information about these services, please contact us.

Because it will take time for apartment customers to adjust their services to maximize recycling and composting, we have instituted rate increase caps at apartment buildings for the first two years of the new structure. For the first year, the monthly rate is capped at a 25 percent increase of your bill prior to the rate increase; for the second year, the monthly rate is capped at a 50 percent increase.

An apartment rate calculator is available apartment building owners and managers can easily see how adjusting the number and size of bins and frequency of collection will affect monthly costs. Recology employs rate specialists to help building owners and managers better managing their refuse collection costs by maximizing recycling and composting and minimizing disposal. Click here to contact us.

Zero Waste Rates

San Franciscans are doing a good job of recycling. Our City is recognized as a national leader in the quest to achieve the goal of zero waste by 2020. Mayor Ed Lee recently hosted a screening of Trashed, an award-winning documentary about global waste. A few days later he hosted an environmental breakfast. At both events, the mayor spoke of the importance of zero waste and said “it has to happen.”

In eleven years, San Francisco residents and businesses have cut the amount of material sent to landfill by 50 percent. Yet, San Francisco still sends 1,400 tons of trash to landfill every day. That’s a problem because trash in a landfill, particularly food scraps and plant matter, produces methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas. Instead, nearly all trash could and should be recycled or composted.

To help apartment building owners and managers better understand how the zero waste rate structure applies to specific properties Recology set up a special web site including a rate calculator. Learn more about zero waste rates.

Property Manager Resources

Property Manager Resources

Apartment rates include several services for residents, including bulky item pick-up and household hazardous waste disposal.  These are provided at no additional cost to the residents of apartment buildings in San Francisco.

Apartment residents are entitled to one pickup per year for large or bulky items at no additional cost. This service is called Recycle My Junk and is a special service offered by Recology. For details and program guidelines, visit Bulky Item Recycling.

Recology also provides a service for household hazardous waste such as used motor oil and unwanted household cleaning products.  Learn more about the household hazardous waste program here.

Another great resource for apartment building owners and managers is the property manager’s lounge, a special webpage hosted by Recology. Visitors can cut and copy news stories from the site and email them to their tenants and view other resources for apartment owners.

Recology’s rate specialists are also available to help with rate questions, tenant outreach, and other special services. If you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Doing construction or remodeling?
It you need big metal boxes (called debris boxes) for construction, demolition, or remodeling debris, Recology’s Debris Box Service can get you what you need and put it right where you want it. For more information, visit our debris box rental site.