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 - Fluorescent Tubes

A fluorescent tube is an energy efficient type of light source that contains mercury, includes tubes of all lengths.

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 toxic mercury-containing lights in the trash or recycling bins. High intensity discharge, metal halide, sodium and neon lights all contain toxic mercury as well. It is illegal to throw mercury lights in the trash.

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! See EPA guidance for cleanup (epa.gov/cfl).

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.

When improperly managed, mercury products contaminate California’s drinking water, fish populations, soil, and air. The mercury limit in drinking water is 2 parts per billion in California, since even low quantities are extremely hazardous. Mercury exposure can harm the brain, heart, and immune and nervous systems of your employees, contractors, and tenants. Mercury exposure is especially dangerous to children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

Vendors

Vendor Address City Destination Disposal Method Notes
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
Pagano's Hardware Mart 640A Central Avenue Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities. CFL's no longer than 4 ft.
Delta HHW Collection Facility 2550 Pittsburg-Antioch Hwy Antioch Recycle Free Drop-off, Drop-off for a Fee NEVER tape fluorescent light tubes together. Doing so increases the risk of breakage and mercury contamination. To pack fluorescents or HIDs, use original packaging or other sturdy protective containers. Secure the packaging with tape or twine. Place smaller bulbs, such as compact fluorescents and halogens, in a zip-loc bag.
ewaste Collective (Berkeley) 620 Page Street
(alongside the freeway)
Berkeley Safe Disposal Free Drop-off, Free Pick-up Ballasts Only
Berkeley Recycling Center 669 Gilman St.
(corner of 2nd & Gilman)
Berkeley Safe Disposal Free Drop-off & lamp ballasts. Free -4 ft tubes- up to 10; 8 ft tubes- up to 6. Small fee per bulb over. Also accepts circular, u-shape & industrial lights for a small fee.
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. Max of 6 tubes per customer at a single visit.
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 1781 E. Bayshore Rd East Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
El Cerrito Recycling + Environmental Resource Center 7501 Schmidt Ln. El Cerrito Safe Disposal Free Drop-off We accept Fluorescent Tubes from residents within the Recyclemore service area. Proof of residency required. Fees apply for large quantities: 30 feet or more of tubes or 15 or more bulbs. Fees are subject to increase each fiscal year. Please see office staff to pay fees or to ask questions. 
IKEA (Emeryville) 4400 Shellmound St. Emeryville Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Only accepts tube fluorescent 4 feet long and under.
Lighting Resources Recyclers (EZ on the Earth) 400 N Forsythe St Franklin Safe Disposal Mail-in for a Fee and ballasts
Republic Services Recycling Service Center (Fremont Residents) 42600 Boyce Rd. Fremont Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Dale Hardware 3700 Thornton Ave. Fremont Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities.
Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program (Fremont Facility) 41149 Boyce Rd.
(At the Fremont Transfer Station - follow the trucks)
Fremont Recycle Free Drop-off  lamps & ballasts
Republic Services, Inc. Mail Back Service 42600 Boyce Rd Fremont Recycle Mail-in for a Fee and ballasts
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Program (Fremont Facility) 41149 Boyce Rd. Fremont Recycle Drop-off for a Fee Unbroken lamps & ballasts
Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program (Hayward Facility) 2091 West Winton Avenue Hayward Recycle Free Drop-off   lamps & ballasts
Environmental Logistics Northern CA Office
3200 Depot Rd
Hayward Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee All bulbs
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Program (Hayward Facility) 2091 West Winton Avenue Hayward Recycle Drop-off for a Fee Unbroken lamps & ballasts

Curbside Service

Special Action Note
Alameda
Residents may drop off fluorescent tubes & bulbs at the ACI Alameda office.
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Albany
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
Pleasanton
San Leandro
San Leandro (Oro Loma - L3)
San Lorenzo (Oro Loma)
Unincorporated Oro Loma (L1)
Union City

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