Recycling, Compost & Waste Guide

3 Bin System: Recycling, Compost, and Landfill

Most waste items can be disposed of in our recycling, compost, and garbage bins. To find out which bin to use, visit  

Reuse and Donations 

Before you trash it, see if someone else can use it! See our campus Reuse and Donations guide

Special waste items

The following are special waste items that require special disposal procedures: 


Batteries may be dropped off at the front desks of each Residence Hall. Staff and Faculty should contact their Building Coordinators to find out where they can drop off batteries. Please contace Environmental Health & Safety at 415/338-2565 with any questions or to set up a new collection site.

Batteries accepted: A, AA, AAA, C, D, 9V, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, nickel zinc, lithium ion, small sealed lead batteries, rechargeable batteries and batteries from the following electronic devices: two way radios, cell phones, cordless phones, laptop computers, portable power tools, hand held scanners, field monitoring/research equipment, exit signage, backup batteries (UPS), emergency lighting, instrumentation, medical equipment, security/fire alarm systems.

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All makes and models of binders can be dropped off at Staples stores for store credit towards new binders. Visit Terracycle's Staples Binder Recycling Program webpage to find out more. 

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Confidential Documents

Sensitive and/or Confidential Documents are handled by department through an off campus vendor. A specific container from CityWide Fibers should be provided by your department. Please don't shred paper, as this is not a safe disposal method for confidential documents and can't be recycled easily.

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Old campus electronics including computers, monitors, TVs, printers, and miscellaneous items can be taken to one of SF State's ewaste drop-off locations. Visit our FAQ on ewaste.

Please contact your department's IT coordinator or email to schedule a drop-off. 

For large items, please enter a service request to schedule a pick-up.

Visit Tech Central for instductions on safeguarding information for old computers.

To dispose of ewaste items at home, please contact your local waste hauling company.

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Hazardous Waste

Please contact Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) at 415/338-2565 or via email at for hazardous waste guidelines. Hazardous waste includes such items as cleaning supplies, automotive parts, oils, and paint.

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Keys made on campus can be sent to Work Control in Facilities for recycling or reuse.

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Kitchen Grease

The Cesar Chavez Student Center and City Eats Dining Center collect waste kitchen grease for pick-up. This is used by San Francisco to create bio-diesel for the city vehicle fleet.

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Light bulbs

Fluorescent tubes are collected by Custodial staff to be disposed of properly.

Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) should be dropped off at the Corporation Yard's electrical shop. If you have a boxful or more, contact the Facilities Work Control desk at 81568 to request pick-up.

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For large pickups or special arrangements, contact the Recycling Center at 415/405-3868 or submit a service request.

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Personal Mobile Phones

Mobile phones can be donated in Goodwill bins.

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Refrigerators and freezers have components that can be hazardous or toxic. Please contact Work Control at 415/338-1568 for assistance with properly disposing of these items.

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Spring Move-Out

Please look for signs in the residence halls explaining recycling and reuse programs for a Sustainable Move Out.

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Please take your textbooks to the SFSU Bookstore, located in the Cesar Chavez Student Center, during the Book Buy-Back program at the end of each semester.

Recent editions of textbooks can be donated to charitable organizations. Please contact the Recycling Center for more details.

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Printer ink toner cartridges can be recycled in a Xerox Eco box. See this map for locations.

Map of toner recycling collection boxes. Corp Yard 144, Humanities 125, Library, Hensill Hall Loading dock

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Yard Waste

Green waste is collected by Grounds Staff. It is then picked up by Recology as part of their composting program. 

For large pickups or special arrangements, contact the Recycling Center at 415/405-3868 or submit a service requestMore information on our composting program.

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Other Arrangements

If you are going to host a special event on campus that is going to generate waste or recyclable material please contact us at (415) 338-7164 or The Recycling Resource Center can help you create a green, Zero Waste event.

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