In with the new, out with the old. With electronics, disposal techniques are a little more complex, especially with TVs. Due to their size, TVs are extremely large appliances to throw out. In some states, it is illegal to throw out your television set along with regular garbage, due to the polluting effects of such devices. In such cases, how can you legally and safely do away with your old TV set? Here’s how.
Donate Your TV to Charity
You may be throwing out that ancient CRT TV, to make way for a sleek plasma screen. Or maybe you are throwing out your LCD TV for a high-end HD model. The bottom line is, you are disposing of a working, perfectly fine or OK TV set, as you intend to replace it with a better model. Then why throw it? Try to donate it instead. First ask around your neighborhood. Try your local church or community center or an old age home. A useless TV to you can mean a beautiful new television to someone else. You can even drop off your TV at a Salvation Army or Goodwill Center. Some reuse organizations that accept TV sets in a working condition are:
- Second Harvest Food Bank
- Habitat ReStores
- Salvation Army
- Goodwill Industries
- Excess Access
Trade In Your TV
Some stores and electronic brands offer a trade-in policy on electronic goods brought from them. Trade-in terms and conditions differ from store to store but on purchasing a new TV set, they will take the older set from your hands. Some stores have exchange drives, where you can exchange your old set and get a discount rate on the new one. Or you can even sell your old TV set to the store. Get in touch with the store you purchased the TV from or contact the TV’s manufacturer directly, to find out if they have any programs regarding old TVs.
Sell Off its Parts
From the CRT tube to the antenna, your TV set is made up of small and big electronic parts internally. Your TV set may not work as a whole machine but such internal parts can still work independently. So they could be used in another appliance, like a radio or to fix another TV set. Take your TV to local electronic repair shops to sell off the internal parts. Parts from your TV can be used to repair or fix a number of other appliances and repair shops are always on the lookout for spare parts.
Recycle Your TV Set
An estimated 13.4 million TVs are thrown away each year, according to the CEA (Consumer Electronic Association). Imagine the number of TV sets collecting on landfills or such a large amount of sets being burnt to destroy them. Imagine the degrading impact on an already delicate environment. Do your bit for the environment by disposing your TV set in a green manner. Here are some ways to do so:
Contact the TV’s Manufacturing Brand
Some major electronic brands have recycling programs for their electronic products, where you can drop off the product and they will trash it in a non-hazardous manner. Brands which have a take-back electronic recycling policy are:
- LG (Zenith and Goldstar TVs included)
Check out Retailers
Brands like Best Buy and Staples will recycle your TV set for a minimal fee. Best Buy’s recycling program will accept any electronic device of any brand and in any condition and will handle its recycling in an environmentally friendly way.
Visit your Local Recycling Center
Check if they will accept your old TV or at least, help you dispose of your TV safely. Some cities or states have annual or bi-annual e-waste collection drives, so you can drop off your TV set at the sites mentioned.
Search the Web
If you are still stumped as to where to recycle your TV, never fear. There are many helpful organizations and programs present online, that will help you track down the nearest recyclers. E-cycling Central, MyGreenElectronics and Earth911 are just a few online sites to visit. The Electronic Recycling Association is very helpful in handling electronic recycling and has select drop off locations and pickups of electronic goods. They will even donate your TV set to a needful charity, if it is in a working condition.
If you are recycling your TV set, try to make sure that your TV is recycled responsibly, i.e., it is not just exported to a Third-World country and thrown on a dump over there. Such “out of sight, out of mind” behavior isn’t recycling, it is e-waste dumping. Be responsible, do not just throw things out. Put away any electronic item, be it a TV or a mobile phone, in a correct and safe manner.