CFL's Are Hazardous Waste!

CFLs contain a very small amount of mercury sealed within the glass tubing – an average of 5 milligrams – about the amount that would cover the tip of a ballpoint pen. By comparison, older thermometers contain about 500 milligrams of mercury. It would take 100 CFLs to equal that amount.

Household CFLs bulbs are categorized as household hazardous waste and must be disposed at one of the following designated centers in Alameda:

Alameda County Industries
2307 Blanding Avenue, Suite B

Paganos Hardware
1104 Lincoln Avenue

Encinal Hardware
2801 Lincoln Avenue


If the Bulb Breaks...

The mercury in compact fluorescent bulbs pose a danger when broken.

If this happens:

  • Open a window and leave the room for 15 minutes or more
  • Use a wet rag to clean it up and put all of the pieces, and the rag, into a plastic bag
  • Place all materials in a second sealed plastic bag
  • Take it to one of your local disposal centers (see above)
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after disposal


For more information on CFLs and other hazardous waste disposal:

Zero Waste California

Department of Toxic Substances Control

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