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City Manager's Office
City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Carrie Estadt, Toxics Management Division, (510) 981-7460

Disposal of mecury-containing lamps just made easier for Berkeley residents

Berkeley, California (Friday, August 01, 2008) - Berkeley residents have more options for recycling a variety of mercury-containing lamps, including spent fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and high-intensity discharge lamps. 

**Please note that this program may not be currently available. Please contact the City of Berkeley Toxics Management Division for more information at 981-7460.**

Fluorescent lights are popular because they last longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs and use 75 percent less energy.  They do, however, contain a small amount of mercury vapor, a heavy metal that can be harmful to humans and the environment if improperly disposed. 

To keep mercury out of the environment, residents may bring their spent lamps to any of the collection locations listed below where the lamps will be properly recycled at no cost to the consumer. 

Drop off your CFLs, metal halide lamps, sodium lamps, mercury vapor lamps and neon lamps at any of the following locations in Berkeley during regular business hours:

  • Berkeley Ace Hardware, 2145 University Avenue, 845-0410
  • Orchard Supply Hardware, 1025 Ashby Avenue, 540-6638
  • Whole Foods, 3000 Telegraph Avenue, 649-1333
  • Berkeley Recycling Center, 669 Gilman Street @ Second Street, 524-0113 (also accepts fluorescent tubes over 4ft. in length)

Take care when handling and transporting these fluorescent lights and do not break them.  If one does break, please refer to the cleanup guidelines found on the Department of Toxic Substances Control website: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/HazardousWaste/UniversalWaste/Fluorescent_Lights.cfm

Please keep the following tips in mind for safely transporting fluorescent lights:

  • keep them in their original box, where possible;
  • avoid taping them together;
  • cushion them to prevent breakage; and
  • carry them in the trunk of the car; make sure there are no heavy items in the trunk that can shift or roll around and break or crush the lamps.    

For disposal of other household hazardous wastes, such as batteries, paints, and solvents, visit the Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste website at www.stopwaste.org.

The City of Berkeley's fluorescent lamp recycling program is funded by a grant from the California Integrated Waste Management Board and administered in the City by the Toxics Management Division. You may contact us at 981-7460 or toxics@ci.berkeley.ca.us.


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