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San Mateo Countywide
Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program
555 County Center
Redwood City, CA 94063
tele: 650-599-1406
fax: 650-361-8227
Municipal contacts
Stormwater links
Best Management Practices
Integrated Pest Management
River of Words Poetry Contest
Community Action Grants
Mercury Spill Cleanup
Mercury Thermometer Exchange

By using more energy efficient lighting and recycling old bulbs, businesses and residents will save energy and help reduce air and water pollution.


Choose fluorescent lamps over incandescent. The average incandescent bulb is less energy efficient than a fluorescent lamp leading to higher energy use, increased energy costs and, a greater, negative environmental impact. By switching to fluorescent lamps, both businesses and residents can save money and reduce both air and water pollution.

All fluorescent lamps contain mercury!

Mercury, a highly toxic metal, is a pollutant of concern for San Francisco Bay. The California Environmental Protection Agency has listed the Bay as impaired due to elevated mercury levels found in fish tissue.


Major lighting manufacturers now produce fluorescent lamps with approximately 80% less mercury than the standard fluorescent lamp. Less mercury used in the production phase means less mercury in our water and environment. Low mercury lamps can be found or ordered in most hardware and lighting stores. Look for these three brands:

General Electric "Ecolux"
Phillips "Alto"
Sylvania "Ecologic"


All fluorescent bulbs contain mercury and should be recycled. You can help prevent further entries of mercury into our Bay by recycling all your fluorescent lamps.

In San Mateo County, residents can recycle their fluorescent lamps at Household Hazardous Waste Recycling Sites, operated by the San Mateo County Environmental Health HHW Program. Call the HHW Information Line at (650) 363-4718 to schedule an appointment for the next collection day.

To learn how to clean up a mercury spill, click here

Universal Waste Rule-What is it?

The State of California recently adopted an emergency interim regulation of the Federal Universal Waste Rule (UWR). With this adoption come new regulations for businesses or organizations that generate more than 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of hazardous and universal waste per month. These businesses are required to recycle all fluorescent lamps or dispose of them as hazardous waste.

The UWR has been implemented to encourage and facilitate proper recycling of all universal wastes. Universal wastes include thermostats, fluorescent lamps, and batteries. No Manifest or E.P.A numbers are required if a company decides to recycle their used fluorescent lamps. This option will greatly decrease administrative, shipping and disposal costs that are normally associated with hazardous waste regulations.

Universal Waste Generators

Businesses that generate more than 220 lbs (or 27 gls) of hazardous and universal waste per month are required to recycle or dispose of their used lamps as hazardous waste. Recycling is the cheaper and better choice of the two. Fortunately, there are several recycling options available through two major recyclers located in the Bay Area. Both companies provide a pick-up service for businesses that generate more than 30 used lamps at a time. Additional services are available through various programs. To find out more about available services, contact the companies directly:

Mercury Technologies International, L.P.

30677 Huntwood Ave.

Hayward, CA 94544


ATG, Inc. (Allied Technology Group)

47375 Fremont Boulevard

Fremont, CA 94538



Conditionally Exempt Small Quantity Universal Waste Generators

Businesses that generate less than 220 lbs (or 27 gal) per month within San Mateo County may be able to utilize the County Environmental Health HHW program for a nominal fee. Businesses using this program are required to call (650) 363-4957 and make an appointment prior to drop off.