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.
Batteries Plus 1450 Bush San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Center Hardware 3003 3rd St 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.
Brownies Hardware 1563 Polk St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Republic Services Recycling Service Center (Fremont Residents) 42600 Boyce Rd. Fremont Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
Glen Park Hardware 685 Chenery St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 gallon 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.
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.
Lighting Resources Recyclers (EZ on the Earth) 400 N Forsythe St Franklin Safe Disposal Mail-in for a Fee and ballasts
Progress Hardware 724 Irving St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
North State Environmental (South San Francisco) 220 South Spruce Avenue
Suite 200
South San Francisco Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee
Charity Cultural Services Center 731 Commercial St. 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.
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.
Recology SF Household Hazardous Waste Home Collection San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Pick-up San Francisco Residents only.
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
City Lights 1585 Folsom St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Encinal Hardware 2801 Encinal Ave Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Call first

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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