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
Cole Hardware 345 9th 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.
Pleasanton Transfer Station 3110 Busch Rd. Pleasanton Safe Disposal Free Drop-off HHW drop off - residents only. No broken items!
Standard 5&10 Ace Hardware 3545 California St. 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.
City Lights 1585 Folsom St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
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.
Standard Plumbing 144 Clement St. 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.
Cliff's Variety 479 Castro St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
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.
Glen Park Hardware 685 Chenery St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 gallon limit per trip.
Cole Hardware 70 4th St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
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.
Lighting Resources Recyclers (EZ on the Earth) 400 N Forsythe St Franklin Safe Disposal Mail-in for a Fee and ballasts
Cole Hardware 956 Cole St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Alameda County Business Hazardous Waste Drop-in Program (Oakland Facility) 2100 East 7th Street Oakland 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.

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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