Light Bulbs (Fluorescent / CFL) Alternative ways to recycle Illegal in Garbage & Drains Hazardous Waste It is illegal to throw out compact fluorescent bulbs, fluorescent tubes, high-density discharge bulbs, metal halide bulbs, sodium or neon bulbs. Do not place them in your trash or recycling cart! Fluorescent bulbs and tubes may be dropped off for recycling at the following locations: Westside Hardware | 849 Almar Avenue | tubes up to 4 ft | 4 items per visit Santa Cruz Hardware | 1214 Soquel Avenue | tubes up to 4 ft | 4 items per visit Greenspace | 719 Swift Street | tubes up to 4 ft Riverside Lighting | 300 Soquel Avenue | tubes up to 4 ft | 10 items per visit Santa Cruz Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) | 605 Dimeo Lane Monday – Saturday 7:30 am – 3:30 pm | tubes up to 4 ft | 10 items per visit | 10 ballasts per visit | Residential customers only Note: Tubes over 4 ft are accepted at RRF from residents. Commerical customers and businesses may take bulbs and tubes to the Buena vista Landfill for a fee. Never Throw in the Trash Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury, which is a hazard for your health and the environment. Never throw them away. Store them outside in a sealed container, and dispose of them as Household Hazardous Waste. Air Out Room if Bulb Breaks Broken CFL bulbs can release mercury vapor. If one breaks, clear people and pets out of the room, and then air it out for five to ten minutes. To stop the vapor from spreading, also shut off the heat, ventilation and air-conditioning. Avoid Vacuuming if Possible Don’t use a vacuum to clean up because this can spread the mercury powder from a broken CFL bulb. Instead, sweep up broken pieces with cardboard or paper. If there are any leftover shards of glass, use a piece of tape to pick them up. Identifying a CFL Bulb If you are unsure if your bulb is CFL, check if your bulb is listed with these other CFL bulbs: linear, U-tube and circline fluorescent tubes, bug zappers, tanning bulbs, black lights, germicidal bulbs, high output bulbs and cold-cathode fluorescent bulbs. Alternative Ways to Recycle Bring in to Lowe's Lowe’s accepts rechargeable batteries and CFLs at any of their store locations for free recycling. Find the nearest store. Did You Know? Which Bulbs Are More Energy Efficient Than Incandescent Lamps? LED lights are more energy efficient than incandescent and CFL bulbs: they last 50 times as long as traditional incandescent bulb and use 80 percent less energy. Fluorescent bulbs last three to 25 times longer than incandescents and use anywhere between 20 and 80 percent less energy.