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
Standard 5&10 Ace Hardware 3545 California 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.
BulbCycle 7700 Regents Road #113
Suite 547
San Diego Safe Disposal Mail-in for a Fee
EZ on the Earth 1919 Williams Street
Suite 350
Simi Valley Safe Disposal Drop-off for a Fee
Cole Hardware (Rockridge) 5533 College Ave Oakland Safe Disposal Free Drop-off 5 bulb limit per day (any combination of light bulb types).
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.
Financial District Ace Hardware 140 Pine St. San Francisco Safe Disposal Free Drop-off There is a 5 light limit per trip.
Shoreway Environmental Center (SEC) 333 Shoreway Road San Carlos Safe Disposal Free Drop-off 6 per visit, less than 6ft long.
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.
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. 
Home Depot 1781 E. Bayshore Rd East Palo Alto Safe Disposal Free Drop-off
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.
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.
Biologic Environmental Services & Waste Solutions 23490 Connecticut St Hayward Safe Disposal Pick-up for a Fee Call for specific info on this waste
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.

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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