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The Household Hazardous Waste Facility will accept asbestos from San Francisco residents, and the Very Small Quantity Generator (VSQG) Program
will accept asbestos from San Francisco businesses by appointment; however we do not recommend that you remove asbestos unless you are trained and specialize in asbestos removal.
During its removal, asbestos particles may be released into the air. The particles are so small that you can't see them, and they can cause serious health problems if you breathe them in, including a lung disease called asbestosis, which may not develop until several years after exposure.
Hire A Professional
To "do it right" you need special air purifying equipment and clothing, including disposable coveralls and respirators with asbestos-filtering cartridges. In addition, depending on the type of material you plan to remove, you may need to construct a containment to prevent spreading contamination outside of your work area. For more information about specific requirements, refer to Bay Area Air Quality Management District Regulation 11, Rule 2
and, if you have employees, refer to the Cal-OSHA Construction Industry Standard for Asbestos
Rather than remove asbestos yourself, whether you are a contractor or homeowner, we recommend hiring an asbestos abatement company that specializes in asbestos removal. These companies can be found in the Yellow Pages under "Asbestos Abatement." We also strongly recommend hiring an asbestos consultant, independent of the asbestos abatement company, to assure that the work is performed properly and that it is safe to enter the area after the work is completed. Look for these companies in the Yellow Pages under "Asbestos Consulting and Testing."
If you do remove asbestos on your own, you may bring it to one of our programs for disposal if you prepare the asbestos as follows:
For More Information
- Wet the asbestos with water.
- Place the asbestos in 4 heavy duty trash bags (1.5 mils thick), one inside the other, and close with duct tape. (If you can find them, you can also use 2 special plastic bags for asbestos or "contractor bags" (3 mils thick) available from safety supply companies. Whatever type of bag you use, the total thickness of these bags must be 6 mils. Ducts and pipes must be no longer than 5 feet. If you can't find bags that are large, double wrap the ducts and pipes with heavy duty plastic and tape all seams with duct tape.
- Each bag should weigh no more than 30 pounds.
- Write "Waste Asbestos" on each bag.
- The disposal fee is 25 cents per pound for small businesses, and they must schedule an appointment in advance. Only San Francisco businesses that generate less than 220 pounds of waste per month may use this program. Call (415) 330-1425 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
- There is no fee for residents bringing asbestos from their homes, but there is
a limit of 125 pounds per trip. The facility is open for residents Thursday -
Saturday. Call (415) 330-1405 or visit our household hazardous waste page for hours, directions, and policies.
San Francisco's Department of Public Health can provide more information on asbestos. Call (415) 252-3951.