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Environmental Health

Refuse Collection

The Refuse Collection Services Program ensures the adequate refuse services are provided by the licensed Collector on the designated Routes through permitting and inspections, as well as responding to public complaints associated with refuse collections. Pursuant to the Initiative Ordinance, any person or entity collecting, transporting, or disposing of refuse in the City and County of San Francisco (“City”) must be licensed by the Director of San Francisco Department of Public Health (“Director”), and if applicable, must obtain a permit to operate on certain designated routes. Any permit or license issued by Director may include terms and conditions as the Director deems appropriate, including but not limited to durational limits or beginning and ending dates for such licenses and permits. The Director will provide a description of such terms and conditions as part of the application process for those licenses or permits.

Refuse Collector License Requirements

Any person, firm, or corporation who desires to collect, transport, or dispose of refuse in the City shall obtain and maintain a valid license as a refuse Collector. All refuse collector licenses issued under the 2022 Refuse Collection Regulation are valid for ten (10) years. No license may be transferred or assigned to another person, firm, or corporation.

 

Change of Ownerships

In the event of a change of ownership, the new owner must submit a refuse Collector license application for a new evaluation to obtain a new license. Change of ownership is defined as a change in corporate structure or ownership transferring sale or other exchange of 50 percent or more of the ownership or control of the business; provided, however, for a corporation, transfer of 25 percent of the stock ownership shall be deemed to be a change of ownership.

 

Refuse Collector License Application
  • Application for Refuse Collector License
  • Application Fee
  • Business Registration Certificate
  • Declaration of Healthy & Safe Working Conditions
  • Worker’s Compensation Declaration for Regulated Businesses
  • Five (5) Letters of Recommendations or References
  • Resume of Key Managers
  • History, Description, and Outcome of an Applicant’s Criminal, Civil, and Administrative Violations in the Past Ten (10) Years
  • History, Description, and Outcome of an Applicant’s Denial, Suspension, or Revocation of Refuse Collector License

 

Refuse Collection Route Permit Requirements

Any person, firm, or corporation seeking to provide refuse collection services within the City must obtain a route permit from the Director. When a route is available for submission of new permit applications, a notice explaining the need for the refuse service on the route and manner and timeline in which the permit application shall be submitted will be posted. Applicants shall submit permit applications as instructed by the deadline listed on the notice to be eligible for evaluation and consideration.

Permit Application Requirements may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:

  • Application for Refuse Collection Route Permit
  • Application Fee
  • Business Registration Certificate
  • Declaration of Healthy & Safe Working Conditions
  • Worker’s Compensation Declaration for Regulated Businesses
  • Showing of Need
  • Evidence of Submission of a Project Applicant for Environmental Review
  • Financial Responsibility
  • Operational Competency
  • Program Compliance

NOTE: Applicant must review the Notice of Refuse Collection Permit Application Package Opportunity for all required and minimum qualifications for the designated Route. Any change or addition to the Application requirements resulting from the E-Question session will be posted on the Department’s website. It is the responsibility of each Applicant to check for any changes or other pertinent information posted on the Department’s website.

 

Refuse Collection Route Permit Process
  • The Department will provide a notice explaining the need for the refuse Service on a route and publish an open permit application period.
  • Pre-Application Questions & Answers session will be hosted by the Department.
  • Within 15 days of the submission deadline date, the Director will notify the Applicant of the application status.
  • The Director will issue Notices of Completed Application to Applicants with Complete application packages.
  • Notice of Public Hearing is posted and available for the public to request for within 15 days of the notice.
  • Within 30 days of the public hearing or the notice of completed application, the Director will conduct evaluations of the application packages
  • The Director will make final decision on permit issuance or permit denial.

Refuse Collection Trucks

The Refuse Collection Services Program ensures the vehicles used to collect refuse are operated in a sanitary and safe manner.

Submit the Following Information to obtain a Refuse Collection Truck Permit:

 

SFDPH conducts routine Refuse Collection Truck inspections and responds to public complaints to verify compliance of solid waste management, storage and removal standards, pursuant to SFHC Article 6 and 14 CCR, Chapter 3, Article 5. Inspection criteria includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Refuse truck is in good repair to prevent fluid leaks and loss of waste
  • General sanitation of refuse truck is adequate
  • All lights and signals are in good repair
  • Safety and general equipment present (i.e. fire extinguisher, flares, spill kit, broom/shovel, first aid kit)
  • Operator identification clearly marked on truck
  • Tires in good condition
  • Sound level pursuant to SF Police Code Article 29, Section 2904

 

 

 

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