Stop Calling It Garbage

What many people consider "garbage" is mostly compostable, recyclable or recoverable. Few things, once they are used, are actually waste. Among such things are latex gloves, non-recyclable plastics, snack packaging and other complex materials that were not designed to be recycled.

Recycling Signs

What's more, most things are recoverable if they are not mixed together to create municipal solid waste (MSW).

“Waste” is created when materials that are reusable (like old furniture), compostable or recyclable are mixed with non-recyclable materials that contaminate them. Some materials are hazardous and need special handling.

Recology encourages you to learn about the materials you may have previously thought of as garbage. Education is key to achieving zero waste.

Get help with sorting your trash before you throw it away. 


Did you know?

Bulky Items

Get to Know Sofas, Desks, Clothing, Refrigerators and Stoves

drawersOtherwise known as "bulky items", your sofas, desks, and other bulky items can be reused or recycled!

The Recology offers an on-call collection service for large or bulky items, accepts furniture, computers, appliances, and other big items. Bulky items are repaired and sold through nonprofit retail stores or they are disassembled and recycled.

Learn what to do with your big stuff.



Get to Know Food Scraps and Yard Trimmings

compost paper bagThe leftovers from your dinner and the clippings of brush and grass from your yard are called “organics”, which can be composted and turned to a beneficial soil amendment.

This material is sent to farmers who use it to replenish their soils, which get depleted of their nutrients after every harvest.

Learn about composting and what goes in your green composting cart.

Paper & Cardboard

Get to Know Paper and Cardboard

Office and notebook paper, newspapers, magazines and cardboard are all recyclable. These materials are collected as part of our recycling programs and brought to our Recycle Central®, one of our Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs) where they are bundled and sent to mills for processing. Paper mills take the materials and reorganize them once again into new kinds of paper and cardboard.

Learn about Recycle Central® at Pier 96 and what goes in your blue recycling cart.   


Get to Know Plastic

recycle number4Did you know that a product that does not have a number within the chasing arrows symbol is not recyclable?

Visit our recycling page to see what types of plastic we accept.


Universal Waste

Get to Know Universal Waste

electronicsUniversal wastes are hazardous products containing materials created by a range of people and businesses. These products contain mercury, lead, cadmium, copper and other materials that are dangerous to human beings and the environment.

Among these products are batteries, fluorescent tubes and bulbs, and some electronic devices. These products require special handling should not be landfilled.

Learn about electronic and universal waste programs in San Francisco.


Product Stewardship

Electronic Waste ToterProduct stewardship is an approach to product and materials management that improves their utilization and promotes waste minimization. Under product stewardship, the consumer, the product designer, the manufacturer, and the recycler are called upon, as environmental stewards, to take responsibility for the design, manufacture, marketing, distribution, use, and recycling of the product.

As part of our product stewardship work, Recology provides educational programs to the communities we serve, and access to our Environmental Learning Center in San Francisco.

We are proud to be a business partner with the California Product Stewardship Council.