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TV Disposal Numbers
Preparing for the holidays, spring cleaning, large DIY projects on your house, and appliance upgrades will eventually require some amount of debris removal. And this can often include getting rid of old furniture, fixtures, and appliances, including your old TV.
While, this might be problematic for many owners, there is good reason for the various laws and other regulatory restrictions on CRT-type devices. That is because they are made up of highly toxic materials.
Getting rid of your old television falls under the category of electronic waste disposal, which is also known as e-waste disposal. Because of the many e-waste laws and regulations, especially in states such as California, items such as computer or video monitors, TVs, and even cell phones and batteries, cannot be simply tossed in the trash. So, how much waste are we talking about?
The total amount of e-waste makes up over two percent of the municipal waste stream in America.
And that amount is increasing rapidly, which is alarming as e-waste is among the most toxic of waste products.
According to Earth911.com, e-waste disposal and recycling is a challenge:
Televisions, old VCRs, DVD players, stereos, copiers, fax machines, tablets, computers, and plenty more electronic devices all become e-waste as soon as they are not wanted anymore. E-waste isn’t always easy and convenient to recycle. Local governments often have e-waste collection days a few times a year, but that means that homeowners have to store the unwanted items in the meantime.
Your electronic devices and appliances are perfectly safe while they are being used in your home. However, when your old items are broken, or left to rust, all types of toxic materials are allowed to seep out. Among the most toxic components are lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and barium. Which is why TV disposal is such a crucial task to understand.
What is TV Disposal?
In essence, TV disposal is simply the task of properly getting rid of either CRT-type television sets, or newer, flat screen appliances. While the two are drastically different in terms of their technology, construction, and components, they both require proper disposal.
As we have noted already, the older CRT sets contain highly toxic materials that pose a potential health and environmental threat if accidentally released. While the digital flat screen units do not contain most of those materials, they do have their own hazardous material concerns.
Keep in mind, too, that for most Americans, televisions of any kind are either difficult or impossible to dispose of in a municipal waste bin. Especially the large flat screen TVs! And it’s not usually possible to simply place these devices out on a curb in a residential neighborhood for the waste management company to pick up.
In fact, many towns and cities sponsor special waste pick-up days specifically for e-waste and televisions in particular. However, this is not the case everywhere.
Without going into the specifics here, suffice it to say that hauling your old TV off to your local garbage dump or landfill is almost always not allowed. And TV disposal does not mean leaving your old computer monitors or cathode ray TV sets in an empty lot somewhere in the middle of the night!
There are many situations, of course, when the TV in question is still in perfectly good working condition and can actually be used by someone else. This is why TV disposal also includes selling old units in yard or garage sales, selling them online through sites like eBay or Craigslist, or even donating them to local charities or people who are economically disadvantaged.
Can I take my old TV to the landfill?
This is a very common question since most of us in America either do go to a local landfill on occasion, or are at least familiar with the concept. So, it stands to reason that the logical option to leaving it in your household trash bin – which you probably can’t do – is to take it to the dump.
However, in many states and communities this is not possible. Pennsylvania, Hawaii, and California to name a few. And for those locations that do allow for that option, there are often a number of regulations to follow, forms to fill out, and fees to pay.
More importantly, even if it does end up in a landfill it’s a potentially dangerous destination.
There was, of course, a time when this was actually the norm for old televisions. Unless they were dismantled for parts or repaired, they ended up in the landfills. Unfortunately, the large quantities of hazardous materials that made up the standard cathode ray tube, or CRT, created environmental issues.
The toxic elements and other materials used in the construction of older television tubes meant that they eventually created health and environmental concerns. And these concerns would soon became something of a crisis by the end of the 20th century.
And it didn’t help that here in the United States there were so many people who owned televisions and were constantly replacing their old ones.
Unfortunately, many of these old TV sets ended up in landfills and dumps, which became a real problem.
According to Wikipedia:
Older color and monochrome CRTs may contain toxic substances, such as cadmium, in the phosphors. The rear glass tube of modern CRTs may be made from leaded glass, which represents an environmental hazard if disposed of improperly.
Ultimately, the federal government moved to regulate the disposal process and created standardized and regulated channels for computer monitor and television disposal:
In October 2001, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created rules stating that CRTs must be brought to special recycling facilities. In November 2002, the EPA began fining companies that disposed of CRTs through landfills or incineration.
What else should I do with my old TV?
We touched briefly on your TV disposal options earlier on this page, but let’s take them a bit deeper here.
Sometimes you find yourself with a really nice television that you simply no longer need or want. And you know it still has some degree of value so you might be hesitant to simply get rid of it. That’s when selling your old TV can be a good option. Of course, you can try to do this with a yard sale or at a swap meet, but a far more convenient approach is to sell it online.
For items such as televisions (and computer monitors) probably the most popular online site is Craigslist.
However, you can also try eBay or any local sites you may have in your area. And, obviously, the newer the unit and the better condition, the more you can ask.
Depending on the unit and the manufacturer, it can be possible to give used televisions back to the manufacturer or retailer. In fact, this is a common method, when available. In addition, the retail chain Best Buy has a long-time program for taking old televisions.
According to their website:
All U.S. stores, including those in Puerto Rico, offer the in-store programs for customers to bring their old, unused, or unwanted consumer electronics for recycling, no matter where they were purchased. Best Buy Mobile stand-alone stores accept a limited assortment of old or unwanted consumer electronics.
Another great option is to donate your old computer monitor or TV. There are probably dozens of non-profit organizations, schools, shelters and other entities that could benefit from your working, usable television. Depending on the organization, even your old CRT set would be a welcome gift.
Don’t forget your local non-profit thrift stores, either. While you may have to complete a form in many locales, it is still a relatively easy method of disposing of your old set while helping others.
Larger towns and cities often have an agency or service with a website that functions as a portal and clearinghouse for information on local non-profits and related groups. In addition, some organizations such as United Way can often put you in the right direction for donating your old TV.
Ultimately, television disposal and recycling is always the best option for units that no longer work. How can you do this? The most efficient and convenient approach for getting your old TV to a recycling center is to call a reputable junk hauling firm. And this approach is a great option no matter whether you’re getting rid of old computer monitors, old CRT televisions, or large flat screen TVs.
What about old computer monitors?
Today’s computer monitors are often indistinguishable from your average flat screen television. In fact, many monitors are multi-purpose devices that can be used as both computer monitor and television – and a gaming monitor, as well.
Consequently, these items must be disposed of in exactly the same way as a standard flat screen television.
However, the world is still filled with hundreds of thousands of cathode ray tube monitors from the 80s and 90s. And these dinosaurs still possess all the toxic elements that make them so dangerous to the environment and to your own health should one break near you.
They cannot be taken to landfills in most places and they have to be processed at certified disposal facilities.
How does recycling televisions work?
The first step in television recycling is to have the unit removed. And the easiest way to do this is to simply make a call to a reputable junk removal firm like Express Junk Removal.
Once your old set has been delivered to a certified recycler a series of steps occur to fully utilize the materials that make up the television:
First, each television or monitor is completely dismantled and the different components are separated out.
Any plastic, wood and copper removed from the back of the CRT can be sold and used for new products. Circuit boards are sent to specialized recycler’s where the gold, platinum and other precious metals are reclaimed.
Then the CRT itself is dismantled. A cathode ray tube is constructed of three parts: the front glass pane, the funnel behind the glass that narrows to a point, and the component that attaches the two pieces together called frit line. These three pieces are separated for recycling.
However, the glass panel has a coating of phosphorous. This has to be removed first and disposed of as hazardous waste. After that’s been done, the panel glass can be reused or recycled. There is lead embedded in the glass, but it doesn’t pose a threat.
Newer televisions create different challenges as many of them contain mercury, a heavy metal that is toxic and would be considered a hazardous waste material. Unfortunately, as much as we would like to see everything that is manufactured be recyclable, this is not always the case. Take LCD televisions, for example. According to a website post on The Electronics TakeBack Coalition (ETBC):
The LCD TV is perhaps the “poster child” for how electronics are not designed with recycling in mind, because of both material selection and physical design.
Most LCD TVs use mercury lamps to light the screen. An LCD TV will have typically 20 long, thin, fragile mercury lamps running from side to side, throughout the panel. Mercury is very toxic at very small amounts. So a responsible recycler would want to remove these mercury lamps before putting the rest of the device in a shredder or doing other processing that might lead to mercury exposure of recycling workers.
But to get at the mercury lamps inside a flat panel TV, you must disassemble the entire TV first, a process that takes a long time – much longer than it would take you to disassemble a CRT TV. So as a result, some recyclers simply toss the whole thing in the shredder, most certainly exposing their workers to mercury.
The good news is that, while not every appliance or device might be completely recyclable, large amounts of the materials can be recovered, reused or at least efficiently disposed of by competent recyclers.
What is TV hazardous waste?
Americans have been buying televisions since the 1940s. And even back then it was not an easy task to dispose of the old TV after bringing home a new one. Many of us can still remember the massive television cabinets we had in our homes back in the 1960s and 1970s. Most of them seemed to take up half of the living room wall!
And when one of those died, or Dad bought a new set to replace it, getting it out of the house was a two-person job at minimum.
As we moved into the 80s there was a trend towards smaller, more portable units. Unfortunately, when one them died or was replaced with a newer model, it was too easy to just throw it into the garbage can. But all those miniature CRT units still contained dangerous elements that were toxic and could even cause injury if they imploded near someone.
In the 1980s we also begin to accumulate hundreds of thousands of large computer monitors that were little more than specialized CRT units. And, as we have already pointed out, these presented the same health and environmental problems when it came to disposing of them.
According to Wikipedia’s article about CRTs:
Older color and monochrome CRTs may have been manufactured with toxic substances, such as cadmium, in the phosphors. The rear glass tube of modern CRTs may be made from leaded glass, which represent an environmental hazard if disposed of improperly. By the time personal computers were produced, glass in the front panel (the viewable portion of the CRT) used barium rather than lead, though the rear of the CRT was still produced from leaded glass.
Newer, flat screen televisions may contain bromine, chlorine, arsenic, lead and mercury. Your mobile device almost certainly does. The point of all this is that toxic chemicals and elements, such as lead and mercury, become hazardous waste materials once the appliance or device these materials reside in is disposed of.
Is a CRT worse than a flat-screen?
Be assured that, if disposed of improperly, a flat LCD screen, or monitor, is still toxic and considered hazardous waste. However, most units manufactured today contain less toxins than older models, and significantly less than CRTs.
According to an article from the University of Washington, overall, LED screens contain much less arsenic and other toxic meals compared to the mercury in conventional LCD screens and the lead in CRT (Legacy television) displays.
Fortunately, the manufacture of modern flat screen monitors has progressed to a point where most, if not all, toxins are either minimized or eliminated. This even includes the use of lead-free solder and other environmentally-friendly components.
Television Disposal & Recycling FAQS
What type of televisions do you recycle?
In the last 5 years more and more people have decided to switch to a digital TV and has caused more than a few headaches for people coast to coast nationwide. What do you do with those old televisions? Express Junk Removal offers full service TV removal and recycling services designed to remove and recycle that TV so you don’t have to. We haul away all types of TVs including Sony, LG, Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba.
Can I take my old television set to a landfill?
More and more states and municipalities now bar TVs and other electronics from landfills. So what do you do when you need to dispose of your electronics? The simplest way to recycle your old television is to contact Express Junk Removal today and have the experts haul and recycle your old PCs, music players and televisions. With the transition to digital TV peaking, we take on the responsibly of disposing of everyone’s old televisions and electronic devices.
What if my television is in the attic?
Over the years we have hauled and removed items from all types of nooks, crannies and deep dark places. Is your TV located in your attic or a hard to reach area? If so hire Express Junk Removal today, and access the experience and skills our hauling experts can provide for you. Do you need an expert television and electronics recycling service, if so then call Express Junk Removal today.
TV Removal Service
Old televisions can come in many types and sizes. Did you recently purchase a new big screen unit and now you have an old one you no longer have a place for? Or maybe you’re moving to a new home and you want to get rid of some old things like that TV? Or do you simply have a few old and broken televisions or monitors at your place of business that you haven’t had time to dispose of?
Express Junk Removal provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly television disposal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of your old pieces. Our experienced television removal team will carefully remove and haul off any size or type of television you have. Unlike the backseat of your car, our junk removal trucks are made to handle those old TVs.
Ready to get rid of your old TV? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. You make an appointment by booking online above or by calling or texting (234) 600-3317. Our professional and insured TV and eWaste removal team will show up at your home or office; we call 15-30 minutes prior to arrival and we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck. You point and we haul those items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
We service the following cities and surrounding areas:
Youngstown, Campbell, Struthers, Boardman, Poland, Coitsville, Austintown, Lake Milton, North Jackson, Canfield, Warren, Niles, Girard, Liberty, Hubbard, Weathersfield, Newton Falls, Braceville, Southington, Champion, Bristolville, Cortland, Fowler, Vienna, Howland, Brookfield, Kinsman, West Farmington, Hartford, Masury, Sharon, Hermitage, Farrell, Wheatland, and many more.
We reserve the right not to do any job below our costs. Competitors must be licensed, bonded, insured with responsible disposal policies for valid comparison. Based on offering excellent prices,