September 17, 2010
| by Steven Castle
Still have an old CRT TV you want to get rid of and replace with a shiny new HDTV?
You should definitely look to recycle your old TV, but where? A report on HDguru.com lists the lack of in-store recycling options by big-box retailers such as Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, and the like. Walmart has partnered with Samsung for recycling Samsung products, and Sam’s Club has a trade-in program through EcoNew.
According to HD Guru, Best Buy charges $10 fee for each in-store TV (or monitor) dropped off at a Best Buy location and will offset that by giving you a $10 Best Buy gift card in exchange. (Does anything actually cost $10 or under at Best Buy?)
Yes, there is a dearth of recycling options at the big stores. But there are plenty of other recycling options, which we have detailed in previous posts:
Check the Electronics Takeback Coalition’s Guide to Recycling Your Electronics. There’s also a chart comparing what can be recycled in each state, and a summary of state programs and pending legislation.
Find listings of local e-waste collection sites at E-Cycling Central and manufacturer programs and other options at the Consumer Electronics Association’s Digital Tips site.
Sony has a free take-back program in conjunction with Waste Management, at locations throughout the country. MRM (Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company), a joint venture between Panasonic, Toshiba and Sharp, offers 640 locations for recycling. Last year Mitsubishi joined the program, and MRM says most of its drop-off sites accept all types and brands of consumer electronics for recycling.
Look for hazardous waste collection days in your community. Many cities and towns sponsor these for their residents to dispose of electronics, appliances and household chemicals, through a recycling company.
You can also ensure a TV or other device will be recycled or reused when you purchase it, through TechForward’s buy-back program that locks in a value for your product upon its purchase and depending on how long you keep it. The product is then resold, reused or recycled responsibly.
Also, make sure any recycler or e-cycler recycles responsibly. Many electronics recyclers ship the products to developing countries, where they are often disassembled dangerously, exposing children and low-wage workers to toxic metals such as chromium, cadmium and mercury. In some of the world’s poorest communities, the plastics in electronics are burned in pits, causing medical and environmental hazards.
Some e-cyclers have take a pledge from the Basel Action Network (BAN) to recycle responsibly and not ship old electronics overseas. BAN now has an e-Stewards certification program for electronics recyclers to ensure that discarded electronics containing toxic materials aren’t being shipped overseas and disassembled. You can see a map of responsible recyclers meeting the requirements.
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates