Guide for Reuse, Repair, Recycling, and Safe Disposal
for Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and the City of Palo Alto

What do I do with:



Light Bulbs - CFLs

CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) are a type of energy efficient light bulb in which the glass tubing is curved or folded to fit into the shape of a traditional incandescent "light bulb," and include a compact electronic ballast in the base of the item.

Household Hazardous Waste

This item should never be put in a curbside bin. For more information visit our household hazardous waste page.

Do not throw fluorescent or other mercury-containing lights in the trash or recycling bins. High intensity discharge, metal halide, sodium and neon lights all contain mercury as well. It’s illegal and mercury exposure can harm the brain, heart, and immune and nervous systems. Mercury products contaminate California’s drinking water, fish, soil, and air when they are not managed properly. The mercury limit in drinking water is 2 parts per billion in California, since even low quantities are extremely hazardous.

The following lamps are considered hazardous in California: fluorescent lamps, compact fluorescent lamps, HID lamps, High intensity discharge lamps, metal halide lamps, sodium vapor lamps, grow lamps, Zenon lamps, headlights - auto, mercury vapor lamps, video projector lamps, ultraviolet lamps, UV lamps, water treatment lamps, sun lamps, tanning lamps, mercury containing lamps, LED lamps. The following ballasts are considered hazardous in California: light fixture ballasts, lamp ballasts, electronic ballasts, fluorescent light ballasts, HID light ballasts, PCB containing ballasts, no-PCB ballasts.

Be sure to transport in a way that prevents breakage. If a light breaks, refer to If a bulb breaks, open a window to disperse mercury vapor, collect the shards with tape, and place in a closed and sealed container—do not vacuum!

How are lights recycled? Lights must be recycled at EPA-approved sites. Glass is recycled or landfilled, recovered metal is recycled, and mercury is stored, disposed, or reused.


Vendor Address City Destination Disposal Method Notes
Pagano's Hardware Mart 640A Central Avenue Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities. CFL's no longer than 4 ft.
Pagano's Ace Hardware 2298 South Shore Center Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities. CFL's no longer than 4 ft.
Encinal Hardware 2801 Encinal Ave Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Call first
Delta HHW Collection Facility 2550 Pittsburg-Antioch Hwy Antioch Recycle Free Drop-off, Drop-off for a Fee
Home Depot 5631 Lone Tree Way Brentwood Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Pete's Ace Hardware 2569 Castro Valley Blvd. Castro Valley Safe Disposal Free Drop-off CVSan directs Castro Valley residents encouraged to bring boxed CFLs and fluorescent tubes to Pete's Hardware.
RecycLights 20283 Santa Maria Ave Castro Valley Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee All recycling cost are included. Simply place lamps in container and call RecycLights toll free when completely full for pick-up.
Home Depot 2090 Meridian Park Blvd. Concord Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Bill's Ace Hardware 4451 Clayton Rd. Concord Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Home Depot 1781 E. Bayshore Rd East Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Only accept compact fluorescent bulbs, nothing over 2 ft.
El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center 7501 Schmidt Ln. El Cerrito Safe Disposal Free Drop-off We accept CFLs from residents within the Recyclemore service area. Proof of residency required.
Home Depot 11939 San Pablo Ave. El Cerrito Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
IKEA (Emeryville) 4400 Shellmound St. Emeryville Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Home Depot (Emeryville) 3838 Hollis St. Emeryville Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Lighting Resources Recyclers (EZ on the Earth) 400 N Forsythe St Franklin Safe Disposal Mail-in for a Fee and ballasts
Home Depot (Fremont) 43900 Ice House Ter. Fremont Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Lowe's (Fremont) 43612 Pacific Commons Blvd. Fremont Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Dale Hardware 3700 Thornton Ave. Fremont Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities.
Republic Services, Inc. Mail Back Service 42600 Boyce Rd Fremont Recycle Mail-in for a Fee
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Program (Fremont Facility) 41149 Boyce Rd. Fremont Recycle Drop-off for a Fee Unbroken lamps & ballasts

Curbside Service

Special Action Note
Residents may drop off fluorescent tubes & bulbs at the ACI Alameda office.
To dispose of CFL Bulbs call WM(510) 613-8710 for your free Vaporlok Foil Bag. Place up to 6 used, unbroken CFLs inside the bag, and keep sealed at all times. Place bag on top of the Recyclables Cart.
Castro Valley Sanitary District
Bring to CVSan Recycles Day in April or August, or bring boxed to Pete's Ace Hardware at 2569 Castro Valley Blvd, Castro Valley, CA 94546.
Single family and multifamily accounts can order mail-back collection container at no charge. All Emeryville customers call to order container: 510-613-8710. Not collected curbside.
Hayward (Oro Loma - L2)
Place unbroken CFL's in Ziploc bag on top of the recycling cart.
San Leandro
San Leandro (Oro Loma - L3)
San Lorenzo (Oro Loma)
Unincorporated Oro Loma (L1)
Union City

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