Here's What to Do with That Old Television Set

Provided by Earth911

Whether you’ve owned your television since Happy Days first aired or it’s just time for an upgrade, make sure your TV doesn’t end up in the landfill by properly recycling or donating it. According to the U.S. EPA, only 18 percent of discarded televisions are currently being recycled. That’s an alarming statistic, considering a single television can often contain between two and eight pounds of lead, which can be released into the environment through landfill leachate or incinerator ash.

With television stations switching to digital signals by June 12, 2009, experts forecast the number of televisions being disposed of will increase. For information on television take-back programs and to see how well manufacturers scored on their recycling efforts, visit

Recycling and Reuse Tips

  1. First ask yourself if your television can be repaired. If not, use Earth911’s recycling locator to find a television recycling location near you.
  2. Donate your old television to a local charity, school, church or community organization.
  3. Check with your local Goodwill or Thrift Stores to see if they have the need for your television.
  4. Avoid storing unused televisions around the home. The U.S. EPA estimates that, of all televisions sold between 1980 and 2007, 99.1 million units are currently sitting unused in storage. Besides being bulky and unsightly, the risk of lead leachate due to damage should make you think twice about storing it.
  5. Make sure to safely handle and transport the television to the recycling center as any damage could cause toxins to be released from the unit.
  6. Tune up that current television. If you use an older CRT or analog television, you don’t necessarily need to get a new television in preparation for the digital switch. Purchase a converter box using a government subsidized coupon and continue using your current television.

This is a good article about old televisions. I’m pleased that they discourage storing them in attics. We either use it, recycle it or give it away.

NP NowPublic

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Good tips here. It annoys me too that we have an old computer lyring about when it needs to be recycled!

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