An estimated 5.1 million Americans bought new TVs in anticipation of this year's Super Bowl. But what happened to their old televisions?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 27.2 million TVs are ready for disposal, but only 4.6 million of them will be recycled.
"Many people are puzzled by what to do with the old set once the new one arrives," said Steve Skurnac, president of Sims Recycling Solutions.
"Don't toss it in the trash," he said. "TVs contain toxic substances that are harmful to human health and the environment. For older cathode ray tube TVs, the culprit is lead. In LCD and plasma sets, it's mercury. If TVs are placed in the same waste stream as your household garbage, these heavy metals can leach out of landfills and contaminate soil and groundwater."
Skurnac suggested donating old TVs to e-waste collection events hosted by companies who donate a portion of their revenue to charities. It's a way to help out an organization while also keeping the TV out of a landfill.
"The economic slowdown has taken a bite out of nonprofit budgets, so recycling your TV can benefit an organization in need while also protecting the environment," Skurnac said.
Another option: Ask the retailer where you bought the new set to recycle the old one. Several stores now offer that as an option, often for free.
If the set – and the remote – still work, consider reselling the television or giving it to a charity, school, relative or friend.
"Reuse increases the life of these items and delays their entrance into the waste stream," Skurnac said.
If you have an old television or other obsolete electronic or computer equipment, AccuShred will safely recycle it for you. Because of the toxic metals involved with the recycling of televisions and computer monitors, there is a small fee for this service. Please contact us at 800-747-3341 for a free estimate or visit our website at http://www.accushred.net.