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

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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 epa.gov/cfl. 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.

Vendors

Vendor Address City Destination Disposal Method Notes
City of Palo Alto Household Hazardous Waste Station Program 2501 Embarcadero Way Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Only 15 gallons or 125 pounds of hazardous waste per visit. Must be a Palo Alto resident, proof of residency is required.
Clean Earth (AERC) (Hayward) 30677 Huntwood Ave Hayward Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee, Mail-in for a Fee Mail-in recycling kit only. Lamps including but not limited to: traditional straight, U-shaped and coated fluorescents, as well as mercury vapor, high-pressure sodium, metal-halide, ultraviolet, ARC, and compact fluorescent & HID lamps
Cliff's Variety 479 Castro St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Cole Hardware 70 4th St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Cole Hardware 956 Cole St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Cole Hardware 345 9th St San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Cole Hardware 2254 Polk St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Cole Hardware (Rockridge) 5533 College Ave Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off 5 bulb limit per day (any combination of light bulb types).
Cole Hardware, Vallejo St. 627 Vallejo St San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Creative Paint (5435 Geary) 5435 Geary Blvd. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Dale Hardware 3700 Thornton Ave. Fremont Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities.
Delta HHW Collection Facility 2550 Pittsburg-Antioch Hwy Antioch Recycle Free Drop-off, Drop-off for a Fee
Discount Builders Supply 1695 Mission St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Duke's Hardware (2526 Noriega) 2526 Noriega St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
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.
Encinal Hardware 2801 Encinal Ave Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Call first
EZ on the Earth 1919 Williams Street
Suite 350
Simi Valley Safe Disposal Drop-off for a Fee
Financial District Ace Hardware 140 Pine St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Fredericksen Hardware 3029 Fillmore St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
G Mazzei & Son Hardware 5166 3rd St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.

Curbside Service

Special Action Note
Alameda
Residents may drop off fluorescent tubes & bulbs at the ACI Alameda office.
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Albany
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.
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Berkeley
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.
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Dublin
Emeryville
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.
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Fremont
Hayward
Hayward (Oro Loma - L2)
Livermore
Newark
Oakland
Piedmont
Place unbroken CFL's in Ziploc bag on top of the recycling cart.
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Pleasanton
San Leandro
San Leandro (Oro Loma - L3)
San Lorenzo (Oro Loma)
Unincorporated Oro Loma (L1)
Union City

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