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
Brownies Hardware 1563 Polk St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Shoreway Environmental Center (SEC) 333 Shoreway Road San Carlos Safe Disposal Free Drop-off 6 per visit, less than 6ft long.
Safety Kleen (San Jose) 1147 N 10th Street San Jose Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee
Standard Plumbing 6122 Geary Blvd. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
J & J Hardware 929 Geneva Ave. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Papenhausen Hardware 32 West Portal Ave. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Limit of 5 tubes per trip
Canyon Market 2815 Diamond St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Home Depot 1781 E. Bayshore Rd East Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Hassett Ace Hardware 875 Alma Street Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Universal Electric Supply Co. 438 8th St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Progress Hardware 724 Irving St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Charity Cultural Services Center 731 Commercial St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Biologic Environmental Services & Waste Solutions 23490 Connecticut St Hayward Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee Call for specific info on this waste
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 Drop-off for a Fee, Pick-up for a Fee Mail-in & drop off. Mercury Containing Lamps including: arc, deuterium, germicidal, high pressure sodium, mercury vapor, metal halide, neon, ultraviolet, and florescent to include circular, compact, crushed, coated, straight and u-tubes
City Lights 1585 Folsom 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.
Grand Lake Ace Hardware 1221 Grand Ave. Piedmont Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
ewasteCollective (Berkeley) 620 Page Street
(alongside the freeway)
Berkeley Safe Disposal Free Drop-off, Free Pick-up Ballasts Only
Cliff's Variety 479 Castro 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
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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