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
Home Depot (Pleasanton) 6000 Johnson Ave. Pleasanton Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Home Depot (San Leandro) 1933 Davis St. San Leandro Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Home Depot (Union City) 30055 Industrial Pkwy. Union City Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
IKEA (Emeryville) 4400 Shellmound St. Emeryville Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
J & J Hardware 929 Geneva Ave. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Lighting Resources Recyclers (EZ on the Earth) 400 N Forsythe St Franklin Safe Disposal Mail-in for a Fee and ballasts
Lowe's 811 E. Arques Ave Sunnyvale Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Lowe's (Fremont) 43612 Pacific Commons Blvd. Fremont Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Lowe's (Livermore) 4255 1st St. Livermore Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Lowe's (Union City) 32040 Union Landing Union City Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Markus Hardware 625 3rd Street Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities.
North State Environmental (South San Francisco) 220 South Spruce Avenue
Suite 200
South San Francisco Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee
Pagano's Ace Hardware 2298 South Shore Center Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities. CFL's no longer than 4 ft.
Pagano's Hardware Mart 640A Central Avenue Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities. CFL's no longer than 4 ft.
Papenhausen Hardware 32 West Portal Ave. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Limit of 5 bulbs per trip
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.
Photo Waste Recycling Co. 2980 Kerner Boulevard
Northern CA Headquarters
San Rafael Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee
Pleasanton Transfer Station 3110 Busch Rd. Pleasanton Safe Disposal Free Drop-off HHW drop off - residents only. No broken items!
Progress Hardware 724 Irving St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Quick Light Recycling 170 South Spruce Ave South San Francisco Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee

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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