In case you didn’t know, it’s not exactly kosher to throw your old TV in the trash. If you happen to have a really old model (like a cathode ray tube monitor), you can be certain that it contains lead, a toxic heavy metal. And like most electronics, televisions may contain mercury. This means that an intact TV set is considered hazardous waste, making it illegal to dispose of through regular means of trash collection. However, there are plenty of ways to get that gargantuan tube TV out of your home so that you may replace it with an energy-saving flatscreen. Here are just a few options to pursue when it’s time to recycle your old TV.
If your set no longer works and you’re not too keen to fix it, your goal is likely just to get it out of your home in the most expedient manner. And for most people this means calling their local trash service for a hazardous materials pickup. It really doesn’t get any easier than having someone else haul away your heavy, old monitor for you. However, this option isn’t generally free, and you’ll likely see an additional charge on your monthly waste disposal bill as a result of this special pickup. But there are ways you can get around paying this fee.
For example, you might ask your trash service if they offer free pickups. In most cases, trash companies will do one or two free pickups of large or hazardous materials each year for their customers, generally accepting a specific number or size of items. Or they may offer disposal for free if you drop off your items at a specified location. In most cases, they also have specific dates for free pickup or drop-off of hazardous materials to encourage people to safely discard these items. And of course, you may opt to take your TV set apart on your own and dispose of its parts individually if you have an eye on recycling some of the electrical components yourself (but that would not fall under the category of “easy”).
Another great option is to recycle your old TV. If your tube is still in working condition there are all manner of ways to give it a second life in someone else’s home. For example, you could sell it through Craigslist and get some cash out of the deal. You might also sell it to a pawnbroker or simply include it in your annual garage sale. Even if you don’t think you can get money for it, at least you can get someone else to haul it away for free. But you might also consider donating it for a tax write-off.
Many charitable organizations will happily take working electronics off your hands. In some cases they will give them to needy individuals or offer them at a low price in their thrift store. Or perhaps they will sell them at an auction or other charity event as a way to get the cash value for their coffers. Either way, the matter is out of your hands, and if you get a receipt you can claim at least some value on your taxes. Plus, you’ll save on your energy bill by unplugging the old beast and replacing it with a newer model. You might not get enough cash out of the deal to support your Sky Broadband service or pay for a new monitor, but you can definitely save over time and do your part for the planet by recycling your old set.