Television Recycling: How to Reduce E-waste and Help the Environment
Do you currently have a TV that you would like to recycle? You may be asking yourself, how can I get rid of this old television, or how can I recycle my television responsibly?
First and foremost, you should never just toss your television in the curbside trash or recycling bin. Televisions contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium which can be released into the environment if not disposed of properly. They do not belong in your curbside recycling. The government considers it the duty of the consumer to properly dispose of their old TV at a proper facility. There is a disposal ban on e-waste, including old televisions, meaning recycling, up-cycling, donating, or selling are your only options.
You should consider finding a local recycling center that will take it. Whether this is an old-style tube television or a new LCD, there will always be locations that accept your electronic equipment. However, there are several recycling options when it comes to your old TV. We’ll give you the knowledge to solve this problem and find a convenient solution.
Donating or Selling Your Old TV
The first option is if your television is working and in decent shape, it can be sold. Maybe you’ve upgraded to a larger television or just have no use for it any longer. Either way, your working television might be a great deal for someone else ready to purchase.
You can quickly snap a couple of photos, including some details like brand, age, condition, and size in a listing on sites such as Craigslist or eBay, or your local Facebook marketplace. A TV is usually a bulky item, so selling locally is the most likely option. Be sure to price it fairly, and you may sell it quickly and have no need to recycle it.
Televisions can also be refurbished and donated to charities or sold to second-hand stores. Check with your local charities, shelters, or thrift stores to see if they accept working televisions as donations. Be sure to check with them directly before dropping them off, as not all organizations accept electronics.
The Salvation Army, for example, does not generally accept electronics, so dropping your TV there is not an option. Your television finding a new home is an even better option than recycling it, so consider posting the item for free or contacting a local charity or shelter to see if they would have use for it.
Local Recycling Centers for Televisions
Recycling a television can help reduce the amount of hazardous waste that is released into the environment. If donating or selling your old television set isn’t a viable option for you, and you don’t want to wait for an e-waste recycling event, then locating a local recycling collection center is another option.
Not every recycling center will accept electronic devices such as televisions, iPads, phones, etc. If you know of a recycling business close by, then we suggest reaching out and asking them directly if they accept electronics, or know of another location that does. This may be the quickest and easiest way to get a direct answer.
Television recycling centers are available in many cities and towns, and some retailers offer recycling programs for old televisions. If a recycling center that accepts televisions is not convenient for you, then you can explore the option of retail stores that will accept them.
Stores and Manufacturers That Accept Old Televisions
There are a few retail stores that have stepped up to do their part in decreasing the amount of electronic waste ending up in our landfills by collecting and recycling electronics. They provide a convenient drop-off for customers for various household electronics such as tablets, cell phones, laptops, DVD players, VCRs, computers, and computer monitors.
Best Buy is one such store and has one of the most extensive electronics recycling programs of all retailers. There isn’t much they won’t accept when it comes to household electronics. Most items they will accept for free. However, there is a per-item fee for televisions of $29.99.
Best Buys TV recycling accepts: portable TVs, Tube TVs smaller than 32″, Flat-screen TVs, LCD, plasma, and LED TVs smaller than 50″. The added bonus is that they also accept video game consoles, printers, keyboards, cables, connectors, headphones, VCRs, mice, servers, and much more. It may be easier to list the few items they don’t accept, for example, satellite receivers, in their e-waste recycling program. You can find a complete list here. https://www.bestbuy.com/site/services/recycling/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025 They even have advice on how to wipe your data from the memory of any personal electronics before recycling.
Best Buy wants to support the customer and make it easier to access their recycling program and people value that experience.
Manufacturers That Recycle
Some television manufacturers will accept their own products back from consumers for components to be recycled or potentially reused parts.
LG will accept all LG products back through its recycling program. There is a convenient website to check for drop-off locations if your TV is an LG brand, including Zenith and Goldstar. https://lgrecyclingprogram.com/
Another television manufacturer that offers a recycling program is Sony, and they accept any brand of electronics recycling. Their page https://eridirect.com/sony/ will direct you to a search engine run on Sony’s behalf and clue you in to either mail-in programs or drop-off events in your area. They will supply boxes for their mail-in recycling program as well. Fill out a quick form and drop it in a box, and send it off to be recycled correctly.
Electronics Recyclers International
Several retailers, like the ones listed above, work with Electronics Recyclers International and their website can be a great resource for e-recycling. They accept a high volume of units, and that is how they can avoid charging you consumer fees. The recyclers they work with are certified and safe, they are in the business of going green, so you can be assured your waste is handled adequately.
Environmental Impact of Television Recycling
Proper waste disposal by residents and businesses alike is of the utmost importance for the health of our environment. Information about how and where to recycle various household and business items is available on many state websites, in stores, and at your local city or county level.
Recycling e-waste such as televisions will conserve energy, but also save precious resources such as copper, aluminum, and silver. Properly recycling precious metals decreases the need for more mining and drilling and destroying of the ecosystems. Mining also produces excess air and water pollution, so the less we need to mine, the better.
Conversely, not recycling e-waste like televisions, has a severe negative effect on the environment. Many elements in e-waste are toxic chemicals, non-biodegradable, and will negatively impact the soil, water, and air.
Television Recycling Statistics and Facts
- In the United States, an estimated 2.2 million tons of TVs were recycled in 2018, representing a recycling rate of 24.6%.
- Under the Covered Device Recycling Act of 2010 (Act 108), televisions may not be placed in landfills, meaning they don’t belong in the garbage!
- Recycling a television can help reduce the amount of hazardous waste that is released into the environment.
- Nearly 214 million televisions were sold worldwide in 2018.
- These old TVs being replaced contain between 4-8 pounds of lead!
Television Recycling Process
Televisions can be recycled in a variety of ways, including breaking them down into component parts, shredding them, and melting them down. The process follows these steps:
- Manual separation and sorting of the device, some parts can be crushed while others cannot, such as batteries and battery systems.
- Shredding is next and shreds the remaining content into tiny fragments.
- Magnets are used to remove iron and steel fragments.
- Separating metallic and nonmetallic materials. This happens through various processes, including optical identification, magnets, and eddy current separators.
- Water Separation helps to separate plastic and glass components. Glass with lead may be sent to be made into new products such as batteries or x-ray shields. Plastics are further separated by type and color and utilized by plastic recyclers.
Can Anyone Use These Television Recycle Companies?
These businesses that recycle televisions will work with individuals and companies just the same. For example, if you have an apartment complex where you are replacing all of the televisions or a hotel chain where hundreds of old TVs are going out, you can have them pick up the televisions to be recycled.
In the midst of using them for recycling your TVs, you should also ask if they can take other items that you may have. As mentioned earlier, companies that recycle televisions will often recycle many other products, which will include most major appliances. Their service may include a set fee to haul away electronics, so if you set an appointment, it would be best to gather all the electronics they will accept.
Inform the haulers of the type of television and other household electronics you need to be picked up. If it’s a printer, they may need cartridges removed. If it’s a microwave, you may need light bulbs removed prior to pick up, so be sure to communicate exactly what you want to be picked up in addition.
Is Free Pickup Of My Old Television Available?
The cost of using them will depend upon the business that you are working with. Some of them will charge you a fee, but this is typically when you are bringing this to a waste management company. If you are strictly working with a company where you can recycle products, and they resell the used products and parts, they may take everything without charge. This will include picking them up for free, which is really the most convenient strategy that you can use if you have a substantial number of televisions recycling.
Depending on your state law, a free option for recycling your television may be required, you just need to seek it out. It may involve you transporting for drop off, but usually, there is a free option. Some municipal waste management companies that do your regular curbside pickup will do electronics pickups for free. There is usually a cap of 1-2 pickups of this type per calendar year.
Commonly Asked Questions about Television Recycling
What types of televisions can be recycled?
All types of TVs can be recycled. The most difficult type to recycle would be the old tube TVs or CRTs. However, with a little extra effort, you can find solutions to even this type of television. The reason this one is more difficult to recycle is that they are filled with toxic lead and other chemicals. You will most likely need to transport it to an e-waste event run by your city, township, or county for proper disposal. Do not give up and leave it on the curb or toss it in the garbage. These toxic chemicals need to be properly handled and contained.
How are televisions recycled?
Televisions are broken down into separate parts. Plastics separate from glass, metals are salvaged using magnets and eddy current systems. Once divided up, the parts are shredded and sent as raw materials to companies that can repurpose them into new products. The few pieces and parts that cannot be reused or sent to equipment manufacturers will be sent to a landfill.
What are the end products of recycled televisions?
Some end products of recycled televisions include new electronics of all sorts. The precious elements harvested from recycling facilities are used to manufacture new products from each element. Plastic is sent to a plastics recycler and can be used to make so many different plastic items, too many to count. The glass and the bulbs are recycled separately. The precious metals are reused to make them into batteries, rechargeable batteries, and numerous other electronic devices once sold as raw materials to manufacturers.
How much does it cost to recycle a television?
As a regular consumer, it can cost you nothing or a nominal fee to recycle your television. If it isn’t free in your city, which it regularly is in most areas, you may have to pay a small fee. Not more than $30 per television to have your TV properly recycled.
Who is responsible for recycling television sets?
The consumer, in other words, the customer, is responsible for recycling outdated television sets. It is illegal to improperly dispose of an old television in most places. This is one of many reasons that donation, selling, or recycling should be explored as an option.
How long will it take for a TV pickup?
Most of these businesses will come out to your location within 24 hours of you calling them. If they happen to be coming to your area to make another pickup, they will probably stop by even sooner. By contacting all of the available recycling centers that take televisions, you can coordinate with those that are traveling through your city or town. Using a mobile recycling truck can expedite how quickly you can get rid of your old TV and other electronics.
Can I make money recycling my old TV?
Although they will not pay you for the televisions that you are giving them, they are saving you a considerable amount of money. You do not have to take time out of your day or pay for the disposal. You help them make more money if they are able to sell the televisions that you provide, so they are more than happy to stop by for free. So, unless you plan to sell your old TV, you shouldn’t expect to make money from its disposal. There are a lot of costs involved in recycling electronics such as televisions, so this doesn’t leave much room to compensate you as well.
How To Easily Find A Television Recycling Center Near You
Do you currently have a TV that you would like to recycle? If you do, you should consider finding a local recycling center that will take it from you. Whether this is an old-style tube television or a new LCD, there will always be a place that you can take these televisions to. Some of them can be recycled very easily, stripping down the parts and selling them to companies that do repairs. Once you have located one of these companies, you should be able to easily take all of your televisions to this location where they can be used for their components and parts.
Where To Dispose Of Your Old TV
The best place to start looking for one of these companies is to quickly find one online. They will have websites, allowing you to pick and choose from the different ones that may be available. Some of them may offer to pick up the appliances that you have, whereas others will require you to bring them in. You also need to consider the type of appliances that they will actually take, making sure that you are working with a company that will take virtually anything. Try looking on the Recycling Center Near Me homepage if you need more information about recycle centers in your area.
What Type Of Appliances Do They Typically Take?
The appliances that they will take will include refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, microwaves that you may have. There are also companies that will take air conditioning units, water heaters, ranges, and a wide variety of other major appliances. They will have a list on their website as to what they will take, and what they will not. It will also tell you if they can do pickups in your area. All of this information is available on their websites, and once you have found this information, you should have no problem getting rid of all of the excess appliances that you have at your home.
Can Anyone Use These Television Recycle Companies?
These businesses that recycle televisions will work with individuals and companies just the same. For example, if you have an apartment complex where you are replacing all of the televisions or a hotel chain where hundreds of old TVs are going out, you can have them pick the televisions up to be recycled. In the midst of using them for recycling your TVs, you should also ask if they can take other items that you may have. As mentioned earlier, companies that recycle televisions will often recycle many other products which will include most major appliances.
Is Free Pickup Of My Old Television Available?
The cost of using them will depend upon the business that you are working with. Some of them will charge you a fee, but this is typically when you are bringing this to a waste management company. If you are strictly working with a company where you can recycle products, and they resell the used products and parts, they will take everything without charge. This will include picking them up for free, which is really the most convenient strategy that you can use if you have a substantial number of televisions recycle.
How Long Will It Take Them To Come Out To Your Location?
Most of these businesses will come out to your location within 24 hours of you calling them. If they happen to be coming out to your area to make another pickup, they will probably stop by in the next few hours. By contacting all of the available recycling centers that take televisions, you can coordinate with those that are traveling throughout your city or town. Using a mobile recycling truck can expedite how quickly you can get rid of these old TVs that you simply do not want to have around.
Although they will not pay you for the televisions that you are giving them, they are saving you a considerable amount of money. You do not have to take time out of your day or pay for the disposal of, any of these old televisions. You are helping them make more money if they are able to sell the televisions that you provide, so they are more than happy to stop by for free. In no time at all, your home or place of business will no longer have laying around as a result of these television recycling companies.