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If your San Francisco business generates a small amount of hazardous waste, you might find it difficult and expensive to properly dispose of it. The City sponsors a solution which saves small businesses money on disposal costs. To use the "Very Small Quantity Generators" (VSQGs) Drop-Off Program, you make an appointment to transport your own waste to the San Francisco Household Hazardous Waste Facility (operated by Recology San Francisco).
Most businesses that generate less than 100 kilograms (220 pounds or about 27 gallons) of hazardous waste per month are called VSQGs. They are also called Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators. The most common VSQGs in San Francisco are painters, printers, builders, and apartment house owners and managers, but there are many others. Only San Francisco VSQGs may use this program. When you call, be ready to describe the types and amounts of waste your business generates in a typical month. There are restrictions: a VSQG business can only dispose of 27 gallons of hazardous waste or one quart of extremely hazardous waste through this program each month.
Why Does the City Sponsor This Program?
Hazardous waste companies are usually reluctant to offer services for businesses that produce small amounts of hazardous waste. The effort and paperwork required for setting up an account is simply not worthwhile for only a few gallons of waste. Even when these companies do pick-up small amounts of waste, the high cost can take you by surprise. You will find that the VSQG program described here is more affordable than other licensed hazardous waste hauling services.
Know the Law
You are responsible for knowing your local, state, and federal hazardous waste regulations. Here are three reminders:
- Accumulation Time. If your business is a VSQG and you have less than 27 gallons of hazardous waste (or less than one quart of extremely hazardous waste), there is no accumulation time limit. You may store your waste indefinitely until you accumulate 27 gallons. Once you accumulate 27 gallons, you must send your waste off-site to a licensed facility within 90 days (or within one year if you don't accumulate more than 55 gallons.
- EPA ID Numbers. State law requires hazardous waste generators to have an EPA identification number prior to the participation of VSQG program. For more information about obtaining an EPA ID number, call Cal-EPA at 800- 618-6942.
- Registration. Local and state laws may require you to get a Certificate of Compliance from the Department of Public Health, Hazardous Materials Unified Program Agency if you generate, treat, or store certain quantities of hazardous materials or waste. Call 252-3900 for information.
VSQG Drop-Off Program
Since 1992, VSQG businesses have been able to use the drop-off program by making an appointment to take their own waste to the City's Household Hazardous Waste Facility. This program is operated by Recology San Francisco VSQG Drop-off Days are held two Wednesday's per month. The number of appointments per month is limited to 60. You may be put on a waiting list; so, make an appointment as soon as you know you will need to dispose of hazardous waste. Call 330-1425 for appointments.