Fluorescent bulbs, lamps, and ballasts

Fluorescent lamps contain mercury vapor. Although the amount of mercury vapor in each lamp is small, care should still be taken in handling and disposing of fluorescent lamps. Please remember that it is illegal to put fluorescent lamps and other mercury-containing lamps in your trash or household recycling cart.

When CFLs and fluorescent lamps have burned out, you can recycle the lamps. Recycling CFLs and fluorescent lamps captures the mercury vapor, which can be reused in new lamps. Due to advanced recycling procedures, 99% of an old fluorescent lamp can be recycled into a new fluorescent lamp.

Fluorescent lamps come in many shapes and sizes including:

  • 4 foot, 6 foot & 8 foot linears
  • CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps)
  • Corkscrew-type bulbs & U-tubes
  • Black lights
  • High intensity discharge bulbs (HID)
  • Metal halide
  • High Pressure Sodium
  • Ultraviolet bulbs
  • Neon bulbs

About ballasts:
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were discontinued for use in fluorescent ballasts manufactured after 1979. Typically, ballasts which do not contain PCBs will be labeled with a sticker. Ballasts without labels must be disposed as hazardous waste. While non-PCB ballasts can be disposed in the garbage, it is environmentally preferable to recycle them as scrap metal; see listing below. Do not put ballasts in the curbside recycling cart.

What to do with broken fluorescent lamps?

  • Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more.
  • Turn off central heat/air conditioning.
  • Collect the pieces using a stiff piece of paper, such as an index card.
  • Pat the area with the sticky side of packing tape to remove glass shards.
  • Put all material into a sealed container.
  • Broken bulbs are accepted with the Agency’s Hazardous Waste programs

For additional recommendations when a CFL or other mercury-containing bulb breaks, visit the US EPA’s Mercury in Your Environment website.

Disposal for PCB-ballasts with the Agency’s Hazardous Waste programs

1. Drop-off CFLs and other kinds of fluorescent lamps at participating retailers: for residents

2. Dispose of spent fluorescent bulbs through the Agency's Hazardous Waste programs: for residents & businesses

For residents:

Household Toxics Facility
Community Toxics Collections
Toxic Rover Pickup Service

3. Mail-back & pick up recycling options: for businesses

Use the “What would you like to recycle?” search function at the top of this web page. Choose the topic “Fluorescent lamps and ballasts (business only)”

Hours listed on this page may change without notice.

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Batteries Plus

2648 Santa Rosa Ave
Santa Rosa, CA 95407

NotesMaximum length 4 feet. Ballasts and CFLs for a fee.

Batteries Plus

313 N McDowell Blvd
Petaluma, CA 94952

NotesMaximum length 4 feet. CFLs (.66 each) Tubes-( .48 per foot) U-Bend Florescent (.58 each)

Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc.

4101 Industrial Way
Benicia, CA 95403

NotesPickup and fee, call for instructions.

Friedman's Home Improvement

4055 Santa Rosa Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95407

NotesDrop off: CFLs only, no tubes, or ballasts.

Friedman's Home Improvement

429 North McDowell Blvd.
Petaluma, CA 94954

NotesCompact Led bulbs, no tubes, no ballasts.

Home Depot - Rohnert Park

4825 Redwood Dr
Rohnert Park, CA

NotesDrop-off: CFLs and 4 ft. fluorescents. Limited quanities accepted per person. Residents only, no businesses.

Home Depot - Santa Rosa

100 Bicentennial Way
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

NotesDrop-off: CFLs only. Residents only, no businesses.

Home Depot - Windsor

6280 Hembree Ln
Windsor, CA 95492

NotesDrop-off: CFLs only. Residents only, no businesses.

Household Hazardous Waste Facility

500 Mecham Rd
Petaluma, CA 94952

NotesDrop-off: accepts up to 15 gallons of liquid (with a maximum of 5 gallons per container) or 125 pounds of solid material.

Lowe's Home Improvement - Cotati

7921 Redwood Dr.
Cotati, CA 94931

NotesDrop-off: CFLs only. Residents only, no businesses.

Sebastopol Hardware Center

660 Gravenstein Hwy., North
Sebastopol, CA 95472

NotesDrop-off and fee: CFLs & 4-foot lamps only. Residents only, no businesses.

Stericycle, Inc.

Santa Rosa, CA

NotesPick up and Fee. Call for quote.

Sunshine West Lighting

NotesMail-back, Pickup -fee, call or email sunwest@sonic.net

True Value Hardware Guerneville

15600 River Rd.
Guerneville, CA 95446

NotesDrop-off: CFLs and 4-foot lamps only; 10 bulbs per customer per month.

Waste Management LampTracker, Inc.

NotesMail-back program, see website for additional info.

West Coast Metals, Inc.

470 Caletti Ave.
Windsor, CA 95492