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Environmental Health

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San Francisco Health Code:

Article 6 Garbage & Refuse

Article 6 Rules & Regs (pdf)

Solid Waste Programs

Refuse Liens

Mandatory Refuse Service (MRS)

Local Enforcement Agency (LEA)

Refuse Collection

Program Contacts:
Refuse Liens / MRS

Phone: 415-252-3872


Mandatory Refuse Service (MRS)

The MRS under the solid waste program ensures all occupied commercial and residential dwellings within the city of San Francisco to subscribe to refuse collection service and maintain adequate subscription to the services.


MRS Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need garbage service?

Yes, according to San Francisco Health Code, Article 6, Section 291.1, the owner of any dwelling or commercial property is required to subscribe to and pay for approved adequate refuse collection service. This service must be provided by a licensed refuse collection company.


As a property owner, how do I change my mailing address?

You should change your mailing address with the San Francisco Assessor-Recorder. This will change the mailing address of all legal City & County notices sent to the Property Owner. If you need to update the mailing address for just your garbage bills, please call Recology at (415) 330-1300. The property owner is responsible for keepig the mailing address up-to-date.


Why did I receive a Notice to Subscribe to Licensed Refuse Collection Service?

Your property address was referred to us by the refuse collection company (Recology) as being in violation of San Francisco Health Code, Article 6, Section 291.1, which states that the subscription and payment of approved adequate licensed refuse collection service is required. If a property is vacant or you believe the notice was sent in error, contact the investigator listed on your Notice. If you fail to contact the investigator within 15 days, the Department of Public Health may initiate service for the addressed property.


Why did I receive a garbage bill if I did not subscribe to garbage service?

Failure to arrange for adequate refuse collection service within 15 days of the initial Notice to Subscribe letter may result in service being initiated by the Department of Public Health with the property owner responsible for the charges.


What if there is a business or residential building that doesn't have garbage service?

Section 291.1 of San Francisco Health Code Article 6 require property owners to ensure all residential and commercial tenants are serviced by licensed refuse collection service. To increase service the property owner should call Recology at (415) 330-1300.


What if there is a business or residential building with garbage bins that are overflowing?

Section 283 of San Francisco Health Code Article 6 states: "The contents of suitable receptacles for putrescible refuse and refuse destined for disposal shall not extend above the top or rim thereof, and shall be contained by tight-fitting lids or sealed enclosures." Overflowing garbage bins should be reported to 311.



Getting help for Other Garbage-Related Questions


Contact Recology (phone 415-330-1300) for:
  • Need to set up a garbage service or pay my garbage bill.
  • Did not receive garbage bill.
  • Missed garbage pick-up.
  • Missing or damaged garbage bins.
  • Bulky item pick-ups (residential accounts only).


Contact Department of Public Works (phone 311) for:
  • Garbage dumped on the street.
  • Garbage dumped on the sidewalk.
  • Garbage cans on the street or sidewalk that is not removed after the trash pick-up.
  • Space issues for trash bins.


Contact San Francisco Environment (phone 415-355-3700) for:
  • No blue and green garbage bins at a business or residential building.
  • There is garbage contamination in the blue or green garbage bin.
  • Assessment of blue and/or green garbage bin usage.





Making a Complaint

  For complaints about illegal dumping or garbage, call or visit 311.

311 City Customer Service Agency - Service 24x7

San Francisco Department of Public Health Environmental Health Branch