Dumping asbestos and lead-based paint


Using Recology in San Francsico

Dumping Asbestos Handling Instructions

We recommend hiring an asbestos abatement company to safely remove asbestos from homes or businesses. 

If you are doing it yourself, we recommend you to get some safety supplies like disposable gloves, safety glasses, disposable clothing (tyvek suits/bunny suits,) HEPA (pink cartridge) air purifying respirator, duct tape, large/thick plastic bags, soapy water spray bottle.

Wet the asbestos with soapy water and place it in heavy-duty plastic trash bags, or bags made specifically for asbestos removal. The bag must be at least 6 millimeters thick at a minimum (you can find thick bags or double up). Ducts and pipes must be no longer than 5 feet. If you can’t find bags that are large enough, double wrap the ducts and pipes with heavy-duty plastic and duct tape. Each bag should weigh no more than 30 pounds. Write “Waste Asbestos” on each bag.  You can also put in any disposable gloves/clothing that were used in handling asbestos in another sealed bag for disposal.

Doing it yourself, hiring a handyman should only be used for small projects under 100 square feet – not ripping out a bathroom and definitely not a load-bearing wall.

San Francisco Residents

Please call Recology Small Business Hazardous Waste Program (VSQG) at 415-330-1425 to schedule a drop-off date. There is no pickup service. There may be a small fee depending on the type of waste.

Residents can drop off for free on Thursdays to Saturdays from 8am-4pm with proof of their residency. No appointment is needed. 15 gal or 125 pound per day limit.

San Francisco Business

Business HazWaste Drop Off is two Wednesdays per month from 8:30am-11:30am at 501 Tunnel Ave. HazWaste Facility. You can bring up to 27 gallon of the actual content of waste per month or 220 pounds. Businesses need to have an EPA ID # to use that program. If you need to get an EPA ID, please go to the website:


If the asbestos and lead paint are from San Francisco residence or business, they can drop that off to Recology’s hazardous waste facility with some packaging requirements. Recology’s facility is near 501 Tunnel Ave. (Enter on Recycle Road). 

Businesses drop off is by appointment only for a fee:

  • $0.25 per pound for asbestos
  • $0.50 per pound for lead paint chips
  • $3 per gal for lead paint 



Dumping Lead-based Paint

Bring in original container or another container that is sealed/closed and label “lead paint.” Container should be five (5) gallons or smaller. 


Go to the bottom of the website and select the appropriate Tab.

Lead-based Paint Chips

Please place paint chips into sealed plastic bags. Preferably around the size of a basketball but no larger than 5gal so we can handle them easily and fit them into our drums. Please keep trash to a minimum (only the removed paint chips please.)

Additional Important Information

In no way should this information be understood or construed that removing asbestos is any form is a DIY or a handyman or a general contractor type of job. Asbestos is a dangerous materia, both to your health and to your finances. Fixing an asbestos removal that’s gone bad can become very, very expensive. The hooked fibers of friable asbestos stay in fabrics – drapes, carpet, clothing, bedding, etc. – and become airborne when disturbed. When the fibers enter nasal passages and land in the lungs they stay there causing scarring and lung damage. If more than 100 sq. ft. are removed, this becomes a “Major Asbestos Release” as identified by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. This can become extremely expensive to clean up and very time consuming, so proceed with care.

Lead-based paint chips causes mental retardation in children under 7 and usually cannot be reversed. And breathing/ingesting lead dust isn’t healthy for the older population and pets.

The few dollars you save using a handyman, etc., can have serious and expensive consequences.