How To Recycle Your Old TV

Televisions can be recycled and while the process may involve a bit of groundwork, it is often reasonably easy and worth the effort compared to the alternative.

Like many electronic devices, televisions contain a variety of materials such as plastic, heavy metals, and other toxins that can pose a contamination hazard if not treated properly.

The law requires the recycling of televisions and other electronic waste in 25 US states, and in some states, televisions are completely banned from landfills.

Even if you don't face legal consequences for throwing away a TV, there are also practical and ethical reasons why recycling is a better decision.

Here's a more detailed look at TV recycling, including how you can take your TV to a recycling center, how the recycling process actually works, and how you can find new uses for an old TV that's still alive.

How to recycle televisions

TVs can be recyclable, but that doesn't mean they can go to the trash can. It is a good idea to check if your local waste management or recycling authority accepts e-waste in any form, such as special collection days or drop-off events; just don't expect it to be as easy as pulling out your weekly newspaper and recycling plastic.

Although some electronic devices, such as cell phones, are generally recycled for free, be prepared to pay a TV recycling fee.

This may seem unfair - you are giving away a TV full of useful materials to recycle and reuse, so why pay for anything?

There are valuable materials inside a TV, but usually in small quantities that require significant effort to remove. Combined with the bulky and heavy size of many televisions, this adds expense to the recycling process.


Recycling a TV usually means physically transporting it somewhere, but before transporting it, be sure to coil and tie the power cord so that no one will trip over while transporting it.

If the TV is especially large or heavy, have someone help you transport it.

But where? You can start by checking with your local health authority; ask if there is a drop-off point near you that accepts e-waste for recycling.

Some recycling sites only accept certain devices and not large televisions, so ask specifically if they accept the type and size of the television.

Also, ask about rates, so prepare before you arrive. In addition to permanent drop-off locations, ask if there are special collection days or recycling events where televisions are accepted.

Mail recycling

Many manufacturers now offer mail-in TV recycling programs through their e-waste recycling partners. Both LG and Sony refer you to the ERI website, as do other major TV manufacturers in association with MRM.

Once there, you can enter your zip code and your TV brand, select your TV from a list, enter its estimated weight, and print a prepaid shipping label.

Lesser-known brand TVs may also have mail-in return options - if you have an Atyme, Element, or Scepter TV, for example, you can send it back for recycling through Wisconsin Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations.

Ways to reuse old televisions

If your TV still works, your prospect of disposing of it responsibly is even better. The same recycling options still apply, but you can also find someone to take it for free, as long as it's in good condition.

You can start by asking family, friends, and neighbors if they want your TV, or by calling thrift stores and charities to see if they will accept it.

Many charities like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity accept certain types of TVs that work but give them a call before taking them there.

Some other charities also accept or even purchase certain televisions for donation, including Vietnam Veterans of America and some local kidney charities such as Atlanta-based American Kidney Services, which supports the American Kidney Fund.

If you're not sure where to start, a group called Donation Town can help you connect with a charity that wants your TV.

We hope you enjoy watching this video about the right way to recycle your electronics:

Source: Linus Tech Tips

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