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 70 4th St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Cole Hardware 956 Cole St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Cole Hardware 2254 Polk 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.
Cliff's Variety 479 Castro St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
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 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.
City Lights 1585 Folsom 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.
Central Contra Costa HHW Collection Facility 4797 Imhoff Pl. Martinez Recycle Free Drop-off
Center Hardware 3003 3rd St San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Canyon Market 2815 Diamond St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
BulbCycle 7700 Regents Road #113
Suite 547
San Diego Safe Disposal Mail-in for a Fee
Brownies Hardware 1563 Polk 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
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.
Batteries Plus 1450 Bush San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program (Oakland Facility) 2100 East 7th Street Oakland Recycle Free Drop-off   lamps & ballasts
Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program (Livermore Facility) 5584 La Ribera Street Livermore Recycle Free Drop-off   lamps & ballasts
Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Program (Hayward Facility) 2091 West Winton Avenue Hayward Recycle Free Drop-off   lamps & ballasts

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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