Household Battery and Fluorescent Lamp Recycling

Regulations to protect public health and the environment have been changing. This is because we now know that some common items that have traditionally been thrown in your household's or small business' trash cannot be safely disposed of in landfills. These common items are referred to as hazardous waste, and some of them as universal waste (u-waste).

"Universal waste" (u-waste) is a designated category of hazardous waste. This category includes many common household items. Until recently, some universal wastes could be disposed of in the trash under some circumstances. However, this is no longer the case--all u-wastes are now banned from the trash

As of February 9, 2006, all "u-waste" items, which include fluorescent lamps and batteries are banned from the trash.

No one in California is allowed to discard their fluorescent lamps and batteries as nonhazardous solid waste (as ordinary trash).

Household Battery Recycling

Batteries are considered hazardous because of the metals and/or other toxic or corrosive materials contained within. Batteries are potentially a valuable source of recyclable metal.

All batteries in California that are intended for disposal must be recycled, or taken to a household hazardous waste disposal facility, a universal waste handler (e.g., storage facility or broker), or an authorized recycling facility.

Household Batteries include AAA, AA, C, D, button cell, 9-volt, and all others, both rechargeable and single-use.

Environmental Hazards

Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel, which can contaminate the environment when batteries are improperly disposed of.

Battery Recycling Locations:

  • Delleker Transfer Station
  • East Quincy Transfer Station
  • Greenville Transfer Station
  • Chester Transfer Station
  • Graeagle Transfer Station

Safety Procedures

Department of Transportation (DOT) rules require new precautions when preparing batteries for transport. All batteries must have the ends or terminals taped with clear tape or must be placed in individual plastic bags, in order to reduce fire hazards from the possibility of batteries short-circuiting when rubbing against each other in transit.

DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) investigated two parcel carrier delivery truck fires in 2008 due to the transportation of batteries for recycling. 

Other locations for rechargeable batteries:

Take the rechargeable batteries to any of the participating retailers. In the U.S.: Alltel, Batteries Plus, Best Buy, Black & Decker, Cingular Wireless, The Home Depot, Milwaukee Electric Tool, Orchard Supply, Radio Shack, Sears, Staples, Target, US Cellular, Verizon Wireless, and Wal-Mart.

Fluorescent Lamp Recycling

Fluorescent Lamps include fluorescent tubes, compact fluorescent lamps, metal halide lamps, and sodium vapor lamps.

Fluorescent lamps and tubes:

  • Fluorescent tubes, including low mercury tubes.
  • Compact fluorescents, including low mercury lamps.

High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps:

  • Metal halide lamps, such as floodlights for large indoor and outdoor areas and gymnasiums.
  • Sodium lamps, such as those sometimes used as security lighting and outdoor floodlights.
  • Mercury vapor lamps, such as those sometimes used for street lighting.

Environmental Hazards

All fluorescent lamps and tubes are considered hazardous waste in California when they are discarded because they contain mercury. Find more information at

Fluorescent Lamp Recycling Locations:

  • East Quincy Transfer Station
  • Delleker Transfer Station
  • Greenville Transfer Station
  • Chester Transfer Station
  • Graeagle Transfer Station

The disposal services listed above are free to our residential customers and apply only to household batteries and fluorescent lamps that are generated at your residence.

Businesses - Government Offices – Schools

Businesses that are Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Generators (CESQG) must call one of the locations below to schedule an appointment to drop off their hazardous waste. Fees will apply.

  • Feather River Disposal  (530) 283-2065  
  • Intermountain Disposal (530) 832-4879  or (800) 852-0770