Guide for Reuse, Repair, Recycling, and Safe Disposal
for Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and the City of Palo Alto

What do I do with:



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 (

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.


Vendor Address City Destination Disposal Method Notes
Pete's Ace Hardware 2569 Castro Valley Blvd. Castro Valley Safe Disposal Free Drop-off CVSan directs Castro Valley residents encouraged to bring boxed CFLs and fluorescent tubes to Pete's Hardware. Max of 6 tubes per customer at a single visit.
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.
ewasteCollective (Berkeley) 620 Page Street
(alongside the freeway)
Berkeley Safe Disposal Free Drop-off, Free Pick-up Ballasts Only
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.
Delta HHW Collection Facility 2550 Pittsburg-Antioch Hwy Antioch Recycle Free Drop-off, Drop-off for a Fee 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.
Pagano's Hardware Mart 640A Central Avenue Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities. CFL's no longer than 4 ft.
Pagano's Ace Hardware 2298 South Shore Center Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off No large quantities. CFL's no longer than 4 ft.
Encinal Hardware 2801 Encinal Ave Alameda Safe Disposal Free Drop-off Call first

Curbside Service

Special Action Note
Residents may drop off fluorescent tubes & bulbs at the ACI Alameda office.
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.
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.
Hayward (Oro Loma - L2)
San Leandro
San Leandro (Oro Loma - L3)
San Lorenzo (Oro Loma)
Unincorporated Oro Loma (L1)
Union City

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