Universal Waste

What is Universal Waste?

Batteries, light bulbs, electronic devices and other items containing mercury are known as universal waste.  These items may not be placed in your trash or recycling carts.

Why is it important to dispose of Universal Waste properly?

Please properly dispose of Universal Waste so that toxic chemicals don’t end up in places where they can harm humans, wildlife, or the environment.


Batteries should not go into your trash as they can leak toxic chemicals when landfilled.  It’s better to recycle them responsibly. 

Acceptable Household Batteries Include:

  • Single-Use Batteries:
  • Alkaline AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt
  • Alkaline/Zinc-Carbon
  • Nickel Zinc
  • Mercury (used in hearing aids & watches)
  • Silver Oxide (used in hearing aids)
  • Rechargeable Batteries:
  • Nickel Cadmium (NiCad)
  • Nickel Metal Hydride (used in cell phones)

NOT Accepted:

  • NO Lithium Primary (single-use) or Lithium Ion rechargeable batteries
    (used in some computers and cell phones)
  • NO batteries generated from businesses (household sources only)

Local Drop-Off Sites for Home Generated Batteries

  1. Council District 9 Office
    (562) 570-3319
    6509 Gundry Ave., 90805
  2. Council District 8 Office
    (562) 570-1326
    4321 Atlantic Ave., 90807
  3. Environmental Services
    (562) 570-2850
    2929 E. Willow St., 90806
  4. LB Conservation Corps
    (562) 597-8071
    3251 E. 19th St., 90755 (Signal Hill)
  5. Council District 3 Office
    (562) 570-8756
    340 Nieto Ave., 90814
  6. Council District 2 Office
    (562) 570-2221
    130 Cherry Ave,. 90802

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Fluorescent light bulbs need to be handled with caution and disposed of responsibly.   They contain a small amount of mercury in them and can pose a threat to human health if broken.  Unbroken bulbs should be recycled at one of the locations below. 

*CAUTION* If you should break a fluorescent bulb of any kind, evacuate the general area and follow the Environmental Protection Agency’s guide for cleaning it up.  

Expired, unbroken fluorescent light bulbs can be recycled at the following retail locations:

  • Home Depot STORE FINDER
    Note: Home Depot accepts compact fluorescent bulbs, but not long fluorescent bulbs
    Note: Lowe's accepts compact fluorescent bulbs at all Long Beach stores, and long fluorescent bulbs at the Bellflower Blvd. store only.
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