Your Online Guide for Reuse, Repair, Recycling, and Safe Disposal
Serving 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
Great Wall Hardware 1821 Taraval 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.
Golden City Building Supply 1279 Pacific Ave. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Glen Park Hardware 685 Chenery St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 gallon limit per trip.
G Mazzei & Son Hardware 5166 3rd St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Fredericksen Hardware 3029 Fillmore 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.
EZ on the Earth 1919 Williams Street
Suite 350
Simi Valley Safe Disposal Paid Drop-off
ewasteCollective (Novato) 42 Digital Drive #3 Novato Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Ballasts Only
ewasteCollective (Berkeley) 620 Page Street
(alongside the freeway)
Berkeley Safe Disposal Free Drop-off, Free Pick-up Ballasts Only
Environmental Logistics Northern CA Office
3200 Depot Rd
Hayward Safe Disposal Paid Pick-up All bulbs
Encinal Hardware 2801 Encinal Ave Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Call first
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. 
Duke's Hardware (2526 Noriega) 2526 Noriega St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Discount Builders Supply 1695 Mission St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Delta HHW Collection Facility 2550 Pittsburg-Antioch Hwy Antioch Recycle Free Drop-off, Paid Drop-off 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.
Dale Hardware 3700 Thornton Ave. Fremont Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities.
Creative Paint (5435 Geary) 5435 Geary Blvd. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Cole Hardware, Vallejo St. 627 Vallejo St San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Cole Hardware (Rockridge) 5533 College Ave Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off 5 bulb limit per day (any combination of light bulb types).

Curbside Service

Special Action Note
Alameda
Residents may drop off fluorescent tubes & bulbs at the ACI Alameda office.
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Albany
Berkeley
And Light ballasts (labeled “PCB free”). Find appropriate bin for drop-off at Berkeley Recycling Center.
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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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