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Sonoma County Waste Management Agency

Fluorescent lamps / CFLs

Voluntary take-back program for Sonoma County residents only.

For business disposal of fluorescent lamps

Take back fluorescent bulbs

Some local businesses are voluntarily taking back spent fluorescent lamps from their customers. These companies are going above what the law requires, meeting the needs of their customers and doing what’s best for the environment. Support businesses that are good environmental stewards.

Resources for fluorescent lamps/CFLs

California Product Stewardship Council

US EPA’s Mercury in Your Environment

Department of Toxics Substances Control Board (PDF)

Energy Star

fluorescent lamps and lightbulbsFluorescent 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.

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

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.

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.

Recycling for non-PCB ballasts:

West Coast Metals
470 Caletti Road
Windsor   (707) 838-9731

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


Lowe's Home Improvement
7821 Redwood Drive        (707) 242-5000
Drop-off: CFLs only. Residents only, no businesses.


True Value Hardware Guerneville
15600 River Road    (707) 869-2832
Drop-off: CFLs and 4-foot lamps only; 10 bulbs per customer per month. Store purchase is not required, but strongly encouraged to help keep program running for future years. Residents only, no businesses.

Rohnert Park

Home Depot
4825 Redwood Drive    (707) 585-9200
Drop-off: CFLs only. Residents only, no businesses.

Santa Rosa

Home Depot
100 Bicentennial Way    (707) 544-2130
Drop-off: CFLs only. Residents only, no businesses.


Sebastopol Hardware Center
660 Gravenstein Highway, North    (707) 823-7688
Drop-off: CFLs and 4-foot lamps only. Residents only, no businesses.


Home Depot
6280 Hembree Lane    (707) 836-0377
Drop-off: CFLs only. Residents only, no businesses.

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)”

Sonoma County Waste Management Agency ● 2300 County Center Drive, Suite B-100 ● Santa Rosa, CA 95403