Where to Recycle an Old TV

Written by david m. murray, jr.
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Putting your old TV out on the curb, or dumping it in a landfill is not an option because the cathode ray tube in a television typically contains up to four pounds of lead, mercury and cadmium. With all analogue television set to be replaced in the near future, the push has been to make this process safer. States have led the way, enacting laws making the manufacturer responsible for the cost of recycling an old TV. Consumers simply have to drop-off their old set. Also, within the past year, manufacturers have opened the first "take back" recycling centres.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Take advantage of a state mandated program, if possible, and take your old TV to a drop-off station where it will be transferred to a state approved recycling centre to be recycled at the manufacturer's expense. States which have passed a law making the manufacturer's responsible for recycling old TV's include Maine, California and Maryland.

  2. 2

    Search for an electronics recycling centre in your area by zip code by going on one of the websites listed below if your state does not yet have a law mandating manufacturer's recycling.

  3. 3

    See if the TV manufacturer's themselves might prove to be a convenient recycling option, although all of these recycling programs are in their infancy and their sites are still very few in number. Sony was the first to launch a "take back" program, in September 2007.

  4. 4

    Hold on to your old TV if you cannot locate a convenient electronics recycling centre. Don't put it out on the street on in a landfill. Perhaps your municipality will have an electronics recycling weekend where you can drop off your old set. Best Buy typically sponsors these types of events several weekends each year.

Tips and warnings

  • In addition to Sony, other manufacturers which have opened "take back" centres include Samsung, LG, Walmart, Panasonic, Sharp, Toshiba and Best Buy.
  • In some states, including California, it is now against the law to put an old TV into a landfill.

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