5 Facts About Curbside Collection in San Francisco

1. Dual compartment trucks – Dual compartment collection vehicles, otherwise known as split-body trucks, are used to collect two types of materials with one truck & route. It’s little known fact that Recology pioneered the use of the split-body collection trucks for residential and commercial curbside collection. The trucks have two compartments that keep source-separated recyclables in a separate Recology split body truckcompartment from landfill-bound materials. These two types of materials will never intermingle during collection or processing.

Once material is collected, drivers drop their recyclables (blue bin) off at Recycle Central, a Recology facility located at Pier 96, and then head over to Recology San Francisco’s Transfer Station to drop off their landfill bound materials (black bin).

Split-body trucks make it possible to efficiently collect recyclables and landfill materials in one route, reducing the number of trucks on the road and therefore, our GHG emissions.

2. Compost collection – Compost (green bin) is collected by a separate driver and truck, and may be collected before or after recycling and landfill (depending on the route and neighborhood). Routes and traffic may vary each week, sometimes resulting in a fluctuation of pickup times.

Compost materials, such as food scraps and yard debris, are then dropped off at the Recology San Francisco Transfer Station “Organics Annex” for transfer to Jepson Prairie Organics in Vacaville, CA.

3. Perfectly Good – Perfectly Good is a sister program to Recycle My Junk, a city-wide program designed to recover & recycle larger items, like furniture and appliances.  We’ve found that many times, large items picked up through Recycle My Junk are “perfectly good,” and therefore reusable. Recycle My Junk loads are sorted upon drop-off, and any items that are deemed perfectly good are set aside and donated to St. Vincent de Paul. Even small items, like books and clothing are donated for reuse.

Materials that residents and businesses drop off at the transfer station are also sorted for recycling OR reuse with the Perfectly Good program.Residential customers receive two no-charge Recycle My Junk curbside collections per year, while apartment dwellers receive one no-charge curbside collection per year.

4. Household batteries – Residents may place batteries in a small paper bag and place them on top of their landfill (black) bins. Drivers will bring curbside collected batteries to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility at Recology San Francisco, where they will be sorted and shipped to companies that specialize in battery recycling.

Alkaline batteries are sent to AERC in Hayward, CA. AERC is a licensed facility that recycles universal waste (electronics, fluorescent lamps, batteries).

DPW Cardboard Collection Image5. Your bin lid matters – If you’ve recently moved, or cleaned out the garage and have extra recycling (like lots of cardboard), avoid overloading your bins or leaving items on the sidewalk, as the lid on your bin must be fully closed at pickup. A regularly overflowing bin might result in additional charges.  There is a useful reason for this, however, which is to encourage less waste, more recycling, and an overall awareness about how much packaging you really purchase and throw away on a weekly basis.

If you have extra cardboard that does not fit in your blue bin, you may bundle it in a cardboard box or paper bag and place it next to your blue bin at the curb. The cardboard must be flattened or broken down to a manageable size (2’x2’ max) and bundled.

Contact us to change the size of your cart if needed.


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