Bay Area Disposal Resources

Tips on Personal Paper Disposal and Recycling electronics* Free Shredding &/or Recycle Events*    
Disposal of Large Items* Debris Boxes* and Prescription Drugs*




Cancelled checks, pay stubs, last year’s bank and credit card statements, tax forms
Medical or dental records, Used airline tickets
Anything with a Social Security number on it or with credit card information

Other papers can go into regular weekly paper recycle from residence.

What Documents to Keep Forever:

Baptismal Certificates; Birth Certificate; Death Certificates - may be needed for tax purposes; Driver's

Licenses; Employment Records - any clauses, agreements, disciplinary files and performance reviews;

Marriage Certificates; Medical Records; Military Records including the DD214 form; Passports;

Retirement and Pension Records; Social Security Cards; Wills




According to the IRS, you should keep all of your filed tax returns until the period of limitation runs out.

It helps when preparing future returns and for reference if you file an amended returns.   Unless

otherwise stated, the years refer to the period after the return was filed. This is what they have to say

about the rest of the paperwork:

 Keep records for from 3 -7 years.

However, if

you under reported by 25% of the gross income shown on the return, keep records for 7 yrs.

you filed a fraudulent return, keep records indefinitely.

you did not file a return, keep records indefinitely.

you filed a claim for credit or refund after filing, keep records for 3 years from date you filed your

original return.

or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

you filed a claim for a loss from worthless securities or bad debt deduction, keep records for 7 years.

Keep all employment tax records for at least 4 years after the date that the tax becomes due or is paid,

For state taxes: some require longer periods. California and Florida have 4 yr limit, longer for false or



 Investment records, purchases and sales

Home improvement receipts until sold and taxes paid

Leases until deposit returned

Vehicle records until sold

Warranties until expired or not longer useful
Current Insurance papers

Computer Hard Drive Recycling *

Deleting data does not remove it completely. Data is only gone once the hard disk has been written 
over at least 7 times with Department of Defense compliant data erasing software or physically destroyed. 
Some companies will wipe/erase the drive when you recycle for no charge.

But, if you want a “certificate confirming erasure” the cost is usually $ 8-10.

If you want the hard drive physically destroyed with a certificate of destruction, the cost is around $20.

It might be cheaper to just pull the drive out and you can decide if you want to pay the 
extra costs for the certifications, separately. "


Cell Phones- Photo Copiers There may be difficulty erasing all your data from these items and one should consider
specific erasure removal so data cannot be retrieved. See sources below or see the yellow pages.

– Some events ask for a non-mandatory donation. Most are free but check with
your community on the number of boxes allowable. Generally it is 2 Bankers Boxes but some communities
allow more. Proof of residency is sometimes required on large quantity events.

E-Waste Event: free drop off for electronics: Television Sets, Computer/Components/Peripherals, 
Phones, Tablets/E Readers, Office Equipments, Wiring/Cables, GPS Systems 

if you have a computer destruction questions:
(No Styrofoam, batteries, light bulbs, or media). Shredding is available.

Upcoming Free Community Shred/E-scrap Recycling Events




Palo Alto, Mountain View & Sunnyvale Free Recycle/Shredding events

Smart Station 8am-12 pm

301 Carl Road, Sunnyvale

Proof of residency required.

There will be a limit of 5 banker-sized boxes (approx. 18" x 12" x 10") or paper bags per household.

Paperclips, staples, spiral notebooks, and rubber bands are acceptable. Refrain from disposing of

 heavy binders or binder clips to prevent damage to shredding equipment. Not for non confidential papers.,RecyclingandWasteReduction/Events/Shredding.aspx


San  Francisco and San Mateo County

free shredding events

- Bulky items: Appliances, couches, mattresses, furniture, etc.

San Mateo County- For questions contact RecycleWorks    1-888-442-2666

There may be free pick up days for major items. 
Check with your Garbage Disposal Company for your town.     

Recology of San Mateo County 650-595-3900
Allied Waste Daly City/HM Bay 650-756-1130
Recology of the Coast 650-355-9000
SSF  Scavenger 650-589-4020
Recology San Bruno 650-583-8536
Greenwaste Recovery Woodside/PV 650-568-9900

San Mateo County Household Hazardous Waste Program - Call 650-372-6200 
or go to "At Your Door Special Collection of Hazardous Waste"  
To schedule pick-up: call 800-449-7587 or email 
This is for all residents of Belmont, Foster City, East Palo Alto, Hillsborough, City of San Mateo, unincorporated San
Mateo, and West Bay Sanitary District.

Free Hazardous Waste Drop Off at Shoreway Public Recycling Center
333 Shoreway Rd. San Carlos Mon-Sat 8:30 - 4pm Gate One
Bulky Items: Call your Collection Service for twice a year pick-up scheduling.
For Sharps container Disposal Locations:

San Francisco County Large Item Disposal

Sunset Scavenger - Information about how to get rid of your trash 
(415) 330-1400.
SF Recycling and Disposal Inc (or, the dump)

Recycling for the larger Bay Area information
Reuse Recycle Services Directory-

In some cities, you are required to use specific debris box companies

San Mateo County Debris Box Services List - 34 +
Telephone Recycle Works hotline for help. 1-888-442-2666

San Francisco County Debris Box Services  
Recology Sunset Scavenger call 1-888-404-4008 for the bin-by-the-day or debris box you need!

Additional  Companies listed in yellow pages or on the internet for example


Excellent suggestions on what on where to recycle

OTHER Sources- See Yellow pages or Internet search sites to recycle electronics – see * on first page.

 ALL GREEN (Certified recycler)
 Drop off locations and Pickups available  
 Telephone 1-800-780-0347

I Got EWaste Recycling Services (877) 379-27837 
“If you are a business, residence, school or government agency located in the Bay Area pick up your items
at no cost- accept all electronic and computer waste, except major appliances. No  maximum limit for the
number of items a customer can recycle.


Goodwill will take cell phones, computer monitors and televisions.
1-800- 4GOODWILL or


ASL: will pick up electronic components at no charge. Participates in events for Non profits.

Car Scrap
California’s voluntary vehicle retirement program

The program is provides $1,000 per vehicle and $1,500 for low-income consumers

for unwanted vehicles that have FAILED their last Smog Check Test and that meet certain eligibility guidelines.

For more information, visit the Consumer Assistance Program website, (866) 272-9642. or

What to do with an Undrivable old Car

Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs


Every day, people flush medications down sink drains and toilets that make their way into local waterways. Dispose of medications
and injection-sharps properly. U.S. Geological Survey studies have found hormone medications, antidepressants, and antibiotics in
waterways nationwide. These medicines are found in human waste and from the disposal of unwanted drugs down sinks and toilets.
You can minimize potential problems by safely disposing of unused medicines. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
recommends Safe disposal of prescription drugs through community drug take-back programs or household hazardous waste
collection. Many of our Police Departments have Drop off boxes. For more information, check these web sites.

Alameda County sees at  under Medication and Prescriptions
Household Hazardous Waste Program- Locations in Hayward, Livermore, and Oakland 800-606-6606

Santa Clara County:
Many locations see: For more information please contact (408) 299-7300 or

San Francisco County
: call the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program at 415-330-1405
or call SF Environment (415) 355-3700 Many pharmacy locations are listed at this web site

San Mateo County
: Find confidential drop-off containers at most Police Departments
in most local cities. For addresses and locations go to:

Palo Alto, Mountain View, Los Altos, East Palo Alto, Stanford: Bring unwanted or expired medications to
the Regional Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant - Open
  Mon- Fri. 8am-5pm. Call 650-329-2598\
2501 Embarcadero Way, Palo Alto, CA 94303

Sonoma County - 707-543-3369

Recycle AIDS Medication Program (RAMP) If you have sealed or opened medications that are unexpired
or up to one year out of date, you may donate the medications to the Recycle AIDS Medication Program
(RAMP). This program is not limited to AIDS medications. For more information visit RAMP or
call (415) 285-0606.