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Batteries, Fluorescent Tubes, Bulbs & More
Safe, Legal and Convenient Battery Recycling
Recycle your spent household batteries legally in one of the following ways:
Residents of single-family dwellings (1-4 units) and multi-family dwellings (5+ units) with cart service may recycle batteries weekly:
Residents of multi-family dwellings (5+ units) with bin or dumpster service may receive FREE mail-in battery recycling kits. Here’s how!
|Rechargeable Batteries – The Best Alternative |
Replacing single-use batteries with the latest rechargeable batteries is a great option. Technology advances have dramatically improved performance of rechargeable batteries and most are available in common battery sizes. A great fact sheet on rechargeable battery features and use is available at StopWaste.org.
Recycling Drop-Off For Hazardous Items Prohibited From Disposal As Garbage
State of California Department of Toxic Substance Control rules prohibit putting the items listed below in the garbage. Keeping these items out of the garbage and out of landfills will protect public health and our environment.
Bring all of these items to the Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste facility nearest you, just like your other household hazardous waste items like paint, cleaners, fertilizer and other common household chemical products. Save resources by combining trips to facility.
Be sure to check the drop-off schedule for the Household Hazardous Waste facility nearest you by visiting StopWaste.Org or by calling toll-free (800) 606-6606.
- Common single-use batteries – AA, AAA, C cells, D cells and button batteries (e.g., hearing aid batteries). These may contain toxic heavy metals like cadmium.
- Re-chargeable batteries – Examples include batteries used to power personal electronic devices such as cameras, cell phones, electric tooth brushes laptop computers, and cordless power tools, as well as spent re-chargeable AA, AAA and C batteries.
- Fluorescent tubes and bulbs and other mercury-containing lamps – Fluorescent light tubes and bulbs, high intensity discharge (HID), metal halide, sodium and neon bulbs contain mercury vapor that may be released to the environment when they are broken. Mercury is a toxic metal that can cause nerve damage and birth defects.
- Thermostats – Old-style sealed glass “tilt switches” contain mercury. (Newer electronic thermostats do not contain mercury and may be disposed of in household garbage.)
- Electrical switches and relays typically contain about 3.5 grams of mercury each. Mercury switches can be found in some chest freezers, pre-1972 washing machines, sump pumps, electric space heaters, clothes irons, silent light switches, automobile hood and trunk light switches and ABS brakes.
- Pilot light sensors – Mercury-containing switches are found in some gas appliances such as stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, water heaters, furnaces and space heaters.
- Mercury gauges – Some gauges, such as barometers, manometers, blood pressure and vacuum gauges contain mercury.
- Novelty items – Examples include greeting cards that play music when opened, athletic shoes (made before 1997) with flashing lights in soles and mercury maze toys.
- Mercury thermometers typically contain about a half -gram of mercury. Many health clinics, pharmacies and doctor's offices have thermometer exchange programs that will give you a new mercury-free fever thermometer in exchange for your old one.
- Non-empty aerosol cans that contain hazardous materials – Many products in aerosol cans are toxic and many aerosol cans contain flammables, like butane, as propellants for products like paint. Completely empty aerosol cans may be recycled in your Gray cart.
Additionally, effective September 2008, home generated sharps can no longer be disposed in the garbage. Click here, for information on the proper disposal of home generated sharps.
You can also bring the following items to the Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste facilities:
- Paint, stain, varnish, solvents and adhesives
- Auto products such as old fuel, motor oil, oil filters and batteries
- Household cleaners and sprays
- Garden products, including pesticides and fertilizers
Visit StopWaste.Org or call (800) 606-6606 to check the drop-off schedule for the Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste facility nearest you.