vintage TVsBy Elizabeth Hurchalla
If you recently upgraded to a big, new flat-screen, make sure you responsibly dispose of the old TV. Before you trash the old set for any reason, consider that many municipalities have banned TVs from landfills.
And for good reason, since your old set contains up to eight pounds of lead, a poison that can cause nervous system damage. Lead is there to protect you from radiation while it's still in your TV, but when the TV is crushed in the garbage truck and then in the landfill, bad news: that lead is going to leach out.
Unfortunately, you can't just drop off the TV at the local thrift store or recycling center and call it a day. Some charities don't accept used TVs anymore since the cost of disposing of broken sets is too high to offset the money they could make by selling working ones.
And some unethical recycling firms charge substantial fees to recycle old sets and then just ship the old TVs overseas.
You can't leave the old set sitting on the curb. Instead, try these sites:
Search through Earth 911's database of recycling, disposal, and donation alternatives. Just enter your ZIP code and get a list of options instantly. Need more? Look through the Electronic Industries Alliance list of state-by-state e-cycling resources.
Some retailers and manufacturers, like Best Buy and Sony, offer recycling programs. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency's list of participating e-cycling companies to find out what's available in your area.
Check with local charities. The Earth 911 and Electronic Industries Alliance searches include some nonprofits that accept used working TVs, but if you can't find any in your area, try calling local thrift stores to ask if they'll take your set or know who will.
If your set doesn't work, look into whether your town has specific disposal days or drop-off locations via the Electronic Industries Alliance site. If not, that site also provides information on private recycling firms that will take your television for a fee.
If you do go that route, just make sure you're dealing with a reputable company. For starters, find out if they've signed the Electronics Recycler's Pledge of True Stewardship. The Electronics Industries Alliance has also compiled a list of questions you can ask to ensure your old television is handled responsibly.
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