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Batteries, Fluorescent Tubes, Bulbs & More
New! Curbside Battery Recycling! How Easy is That?
Oakland residents can now set out used batteries with the weekly garbage collection.
It is unlawful to toss batteries into the garbage or recycling containers. Please use this convenient new service responsibly.
Public Battery Recycling Information
Effective February 2006, 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.
Fortunately, you can 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 the Household Hazardous Waste facility for all your hazardous items.
Be sure to check the drop-off schedule for the Household Hazardous Waste facility nearest you by visiting www.Household-Hazwaste.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 and laptop computers, as well as cordless power tool battery packs and re-chargeable AA, AAA and C cells.
- 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 www.Household-Hazwaste.org or call (800) 606-6606 to check the drop-off schedule for the Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste facility nearest you.
Rechargeable Battery Recycling
In addition to Alameda County Household Hazardous Waste Facilities, a number of Oakland businesses accept rechargeable batteries for recycling. Visit the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation web site at www.rbrc.org . We strongly recommend that you call the businesses listed at www.rbrc.org to confirm that they are currently participating in the recycling program before you bring your rechargeable batteries to them.