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Debris Box Permit


What is a Debris Box?

A debris box is a portable non-vehicular container used by a debris box company to dispose of waste materials derived from the construction, reconstruction, alteration or demolition of real property structures.  The materials are placed into the debris box and transported through the streets of San Francisco.

All Debris Box Companies who intend to place one or more debris boxes within the Public Rights of Way whether or not such box will be used to service a project for which a street occupancy or building permit, or both, has been issued needs to obtain either an Annual Registration Permit or a 7-day permit.  (Article 15, Section 725 of the Public Works Code and DPW Order 179,201)


Permit Information

To apply for either an Annual registration or 7-day permit (fee schedule), please contact the Bureau of Street Use and Mapping at 1155 Market Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, Ca  94103, Telephone (415) 554-5810.  All debris box companies hauling Construction and Demolition (C&D) debris material are required to comply with San Francisco's Department of Environment (SFE) C& D ordinance (No. 27-06).  Please refer to SFE's website for further information, including the Registered Transporter Application.

The following application information will be required for all debris box permits:

  • Dates of placement and removal

  • Location of debris box

  • Address location nearest the placement area


The information requested above will be tracked by BSM through the internet. Log-in information for each company shall be provided at the time of permit registration and approval.

  1. ANNUAL REGISTRATION PERMITS:  You can elect to register debris boxes on an annual basis by submitting a list of box numbers.  The number on the annual permit needs to match the number registered for the company's debris boxes and are not transferable.  The permits will be in effect from January 1st to December 31st for the year issued.  A list of debris box registration numbers shall be kept on file at BSM.
  3. 7-DAY PERMITS:  Individual 7-day permits are required for each debris box location and shall be completed by the agents of the debris box companies. If a debris box with a 7-day permit is located at a construction site with a valid street space permit, the debris box company may elect to leave their box at the job site upon expiration of the 7-day permit.  In such instances, the debris box company shall remove the expired permit and affix a new 7-day permit in its place.  In order to avoid a Notice of Violation for the debris box, a copy of the completed 7-day permit must be received within 2 business days of posting.  A list of locations and permits issued shall be kept on file at BSM.


Rules & Regulations

All debris box companies with an annual registration and /or 7-day permit must maintain a bond in the amount of $5,000.  All debris boxes must comply with the following:

  1. A valid registration number or permit needs to be affixed to either end of the debris box.

  2. Debris boxes shall be placed in the roadway area parallel to the curb with its outer edge no more than 8-ft from the face of the curb.

  3. No debris box shall be placed on the sidewalk without prior permission from Public Works.

  4. No debris box shall be delivered, placed or removed in a residential area between the hours of 7:00 pm and 6:00 am.

  5. Four reflective type warning devices, each having a red reflecting area of at least 3-inches in diameter shall be installed on the exterior ends of each box.  The reflective device shall be placed so that one device shall be located near each edge that abuts the side of the box and shall be no less than 24-inches or more than 45-inches from the ground level.  Both ends of each box shall be painted entirely in 4-inch wide alternate diagonal stripings with color approved by Public Works.

  6. All contents of a debris box shall be completely covered at all times while being transported.

  7. The owner's name, address, telephone number and debris box identification number shall be clearly printed on both sides of each box.

  8. Advertisement on any box is prohibited.

  9. Full debris boxes shall be removed within (2) business days.   


Other Requirements

  1. Debris box placement shall be governed by traffic and parking regulations but not limited to:  tow-a-way zones, accessibility curb ramps, bus stops, handicapped parking zones and fire hydrants.  If the SFMTA Blue Book requirements cannot be satisfied, you will need to obtain a SFMTA Special Traffic Permit.  SFMTA is located at 1 South Van Ness Ave., San Francisco.    

  2. Upon registration with Public Works, the registrant(s) and all agents of the debris box company are bound by the Public Works Code and all other applicable laws, codes and ordinances.

  3. Each registration number and or permit number issued for a debris box and acceptance of the registration shall bind the owner of the debris box to indemnify and hold harmless the City and County of San Francisco and its officers and employees.

  4. Property Owner shall apply for a Street Space Permit (allocating at least 10-Business Days for permit verification) from the Department of Building Inspection at 1660 Mission Street, 5th Floor and post "No Parking" signs at least 72-Hours in advance.



Failure to comply with the rules and regulations are deemed as violations and may be subject to the issuance of Notice of Violations and associated penalties.  A Notice of Violation shall be issued for the following:

  1. Placement of debris box in restricted traffic street zones.

  2. Placement of debris box on sidewalk area without special permits.

  3. No permit, registration number or other required information on the debris box.

  4. Failure to remove full debris box within (2) business days.

  5. Damaged or missing reflectors or safety stripings.


Any debris box placed in the Public Right of Way in violation of the debris box requirements can be removed by Public Works.  Removal shall take place no earlier than 48-hours after notice is given describing the violation.  The Director of Public Works can authorize the immediate removal of a debris box when it constitutes a safety hazard or public nuisance or when the presence of an emergency requires the removal of that box.  All costs related to the removal of the debris box will be paid for by the owner of the debris box. 

For More Information

For more information or clarification on any of the permit requirements, please contact us at:

San Francisco Public Works • Bureau of Street-Use & Mapping 
1155 Market Street, 3rd Floor • San Francisco, CA 94103 • Map
Telephone : (415) 554-5810   Fax: (415) 554-6161
Office Hours : 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Monday through Friday, except official holidays

Note: all cash and check transactions must be submitted before 4:00 p.m.