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

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 (

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.


Vendor Address City Destination Disposal Method Notes
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Drop-in Program (Livermore Facility) 5584 La Ribera Street Livermore Safe Disposal Drop-off for a Fee Unbroken lamps only & ballasts. Boxes for lamps available for purchase to then fill and drop-off. 4' box & liner holds about 220 x T-12. 8' box & liner holds about 100 x T-12.
Lighting Resources Recyclers (EZ on the Earth) 400 N Forsythe St Franklin Safe Disposal Mail-in for a Fee and ballasts
North State Environmental (South San Francisco) 220 South Spruce Avenue
Suite 200
South San Francisco Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee
Dale Hardware 3700 Thornton Ave. Fremont Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities.
Recology San Francisco Transfer Station Public Recycling and Disposal Drop Off 501 Tunnel Ave. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Fluorescent Tubes/CFLs First 30 per month are free. After first 30 free units per month, $4.00/unit.
Discount Builders Supply 1695 Mission St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Financial District Ace Hardware 140 Pine St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Revolt Recycling 657 143rd Ave San Leandro Safe Disposal Drop-off for a Fee lamps & ballasts. Ballasts - PCB Lighting Ballast; Non-PCB Ballast; Capacitors & Transformers; Mercury Containing Devices. MERCURY CONTAINING DEVICES MUST BE DELIVERED TO REVOLT
Encinal Hardware 2801 Encinal Ave Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Call first
Recology SF Household Hazardous Waste Home Collection San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Pick-up San Francisco Residents only.
Fredericksen Hardware 3029 Fillmore 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 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. 
Safety Kleen Systems (Rohnert Park) 5750 Commerce Blvd Rohnert Park Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee
Recology SF Household Hazardous Waste Facility 501 Tunnel Ave. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds per day of all household hazardous waste. San Francisco residents only. Address verification required. Open Thursday-Saturday only from 8am-4pm.
Recology SF Business Haz. Waste Drop-Off (VSQG Program) 501 Tunnel Ave. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off, Drop-off for a Fee First 30 bulbs or tubes are free - $3.00/unit for greater than 30. Bulbs and tubes must be delivered in sealed boxes and labeled as Universal Waste. Use Public Disposal Area or make appointment for VSQG Service. SF businesses ONLY
G Mazzei & Son Hardware 5166 3rd St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
SMaRT Station 301 Carl Rd Sunnyvale Safe Disposal Free Drop-off This item is hazardous and must be disposed of properly.
Veolia Environmental Services 1125 Hensley St Richmond Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee, Mail-in for a Fee Multiple options so service can be tailored to needs, visit website for details.
Safety Kleen Systems (Sacramento) 6000 88th Street Sacramento Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee
IKEA (Emeryville) 4400 Shellmound St. Emeryville Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Only accepts tube fluorescent 4 feet long and under.

Curbside Service

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

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