Where to Recycle Old TVs: Your Guide to TV Recycling

Apr 14, 2021 | E-Cycling

An old TV to recycle at an e-waste center near me

If you’ve got a big, chunky CRT TV taking up valuable space in your basement, it’s a no-brainer that you’d want to get rid of it. Even if you’ve got a newer TV you no longer use, if it’s just gathering dust, it’s not doing you any good. The obvious solution: Look up “e-waste center near me” and find out where to recycle old TVs. 

You might be tempted to just toss it to the curb, but hold your horses. In some places, that’s illegal, and it’s inadvisable everywhere. Recycling should always be your first choice for disposing of unwanted electronics. It’s way more environmentally friendly. If you’re thinking, “Wait, there isn’t an e-waste center near me, there’s no way I can participate,” you’re probably wrong about that. Many big retailers have programs where they accept old electronics, either to refurbish or to recycle. 

There are plenty of options for smaller electronics, but it might seem daunting to find where to recycle old TVs. Don’t let that stop you. Answers are one search away. Before you get started and search “e-waste center near me,” here are a few things to keep in mind.

Can your old TV be put to another use?

Find out if your old TV could serve someone else as-is before you commit to recycling it. It’s worth a quick search for donation opportunities. You might be surprised how much use an old electronic device can get in the right hands. 

And even if it’s not functional, your old TV still might serve another purpose. Old, broken electronics can often be refurbished and sold or donated to be useful for years to come. Your trash might literally be someone else’s treasure. Look into all your options for giving your old electronics another life, not just where to recycle old TVs.

Do you have other electronics to recycle?

Odds are, you’ve got more than just an ancient TV laying around unused. Small electronics, like smartphones, or even other large ones, like computers, can be recycled as well. It might be a good idea to clean out all of your electronic junk at once. 

TVs can have their own special considerations that make them harder or easier to recycle, and so can other electronics. Not all recycling centers take all kinds of devices. So, if you have other electronics to get rid of, it helps to know what they are. A TV doesn’t need any special preparation before recycling, but other devices often do. 

An old TV doesn’t store any data, so that’s not something you need to worry about if you’re only looking for where to recycle old TVs. But if you do have other devices you’d like to part with, make sure you get rid of any data still on there. Do a factory reset if possible. Also be mindful of the battery, if there is one. It might require a separate recycling process. If you’re thinking, “I don’t have to worry about any of this. Any e-waste center near me can take care of it,” think again. Always check first.

The longer you wait to get rid of your electronics, the more of a hassle they’ll become. With that in mind, you don’t only want to look for where to recycle old TVs, you’d want to look for a recycling center that takes different types of devices, too. Gather up every electronic you don’t use anymore and go from there.

What type of TV do you have?

You might be thinking, “Any e-waste center near me will take whatever I have to donate,” but that would be incorrect. A certain kind of TV, called a CRT TV, requires a special recycling process that not all e-recycling centers are equipped to handle. You should determine what kind of TV you’re trying to get rid of before you start looking for an e-waste center so you can narrow your search. If you find where to recycle old TVs, but not the kind of old TV you’ve got, that’s not going to help anybody.

If you’re wondering why CRT TVs have a special recycling process, it’s because of what they’re made of. Not only do they contain a lot of lead, but they also contain some tubes that are liable to implode if they’re not handled correctly. Those tubes are called Cathode Ray Tubes, which is what CRT stands for. Since they require special handling, you’ll need to find a special e-recycling center to take them.

The natural next question would be, “How do I tell if I have a CRT TV?” Well, there are a few telltale signs. The first is simply the shape. If it’s got a bit of junk in the trunk, it’s probably a CRT. If it’s flat, it’s probably not. You can also perform a little unscientific test — knock on the screen (gently!). Is it hard glass, or does it give a little? If it’s rock-solid, it’s a CRT. A plasma screen has a little bit of give to it. Know what kind of TV you’ve got and search for where to recycle old TVs accordingly.

How to Recycle Old TVs

Now that you’ve looked into your other options and got all the other e-waste you’ve got laying around ready to go, you’re looking to get the recycling process started. In a lot of ways, you’ve already done the hardest part, so congrats! We’ll take you through the rest of it step by step.

First Step: Find an E-Waste Center Near Me

You’re probably thinking, “How do I find an e-waste center near me?” It’s as simple as typing a few words into a search engine and hitting enter. Of course, depending on where you live, it might be more difficult to find an e-waste center, especially if you live in a more rural area, but know there are options for you. 

If you haven’t had luck searching “e-waste center near me,” don’t lose hope. There might be a pop-up e-waste recycling event just around the corner. You might have to be a little patient, but you can eventually find where to recycle old TVs.

Here’s what to scan the results of your “e-waste center near me” search for:

    1. Location – Obviously, you want to go for an e-waste center that is actually near you. You want to make it as easy on yourself as you can. If it’s not accessible to you, it’s not going to help.
    2. Things they accept – This is the big one. If you’re looking for where to recycle old TVs, you need to make sure the e-waste center you’re looking at takes them. Not all facilities that show up for “e-waste center near me” will take all kinds of electronic devices. Smaller gadgets are often easier to recycle, and CRT TVs have their own special recycling process. The facility you’re looking at should have a list of things they do and don’t accept, and you should definitely check that against what you have to recycle before you show up.
    3. Hours – There’s nothing worse than getting everything ready to go only to show up to a closed facility. Make sure the hours of operation are just as accessible to you as the location is.
    4. Do they pick up or do you have to drop off? – Some e-waste centers require you to bring your unwanted electronics to them, and some offer pickup services. Some will also occasionally host electronic recycling events where you can drop off your gadgets, or they have ongoing off-site dropoff locations. If you’re looking for where to recycle old TVs, it might be a big benefit to find a recycling center that will pick up your TV for you. Hauling it all around town is no fun.
    5. Cost – Sometimes e-waste centers hold drives where you can recycle certain items for free, but in many other cases, there will be a fee for responsibly getting rid of your electronics. The cost will depend on how difficult it is to recycle the item in question and how much value they can get out of it. For example, if you’re looking for where to recycle old TVs, recycling a CRT monitor is probably going to have one of the larger fees attached. Be aware.

Second Step: Choosing an E-Recycling Center

Your work’s not done after searching “e-waste center near me.” You’ve got plenty more steps to go. Using all of the considerations above, pick out an e-recycling center that fits the bill. If you have any unanswered questions, give them a call. Make sure you can answer all five questions we listed above. You don’t want to show up with your huge, heavy CRT monitor only to find out they don’t accept those. 

Not all places that show up for where to recycle old TVs are created equal. This isn’t the biggest decision you’ll ever make by any means, but it’s still not one you should take too lightly.

Third Step: Drop off or Schedule a Pickup

Once all your questions have been answered and you’ve decided which of the results for “e-waste center near me” to go with, you’re good to go. You’ve found where to recycle old TVs, and you’re ready to finally get yours recycled. Simply load up all your devices and take them out to the dropoff location, which might be the actual recycling center, or it might be elsewhere. Or, if the center you’ve chosen has agreed to pick up your old TV, get it ready for them. Make the process as painless as possible. 

And that’s it! You’re done! You’ve gone from not knowing where to recycle old TVs to being a pro at giving your unwanted devices a new life. Doesn’t that feel better, knowing your old, decrepit electronics are going to have a new life?

In Review…

Searching up “e-waste center near me” is a small step that can bring big changes to your basement, or wherever you keep your old, unwanted electronics. If you’re looking for where to recycle old TVs, that’s your answer. 

However, that simple search is just the first step. You’ll have to sift through the results, choose one of your options, and make it happen. Part of that is making sure you know exactly what you have to recycle — the type of TV, and any other devices you want to get rid of. Then, you’ll need to make sure your chosen e-waste center accepts all of the electronics you’d like to part with. Know that there might be some fees involved. That’s when you can finally go ahead with the dropoff or pickup. 

At the end of the day, know that you’re going through all of these steps for a good cause. Keeping harmful chemicals out of landfills and reducing the energy needed to make new electronics make the e-recycling process an environmentally friendly choice. 

Also know that by choosing to stay local instead of shipping your items overseas, you’re increasing your positive impact. If you’re narrowing your options to local e-waste centers only, you’ll avoid the unethical and environmentally harmful practices that sometimes take place in less developed countries. Many environmental and labor protections that apply to the electronics recycling process here do not apply in those places. 

Therefore, it’s great if you search “e-waste center near me.” That way, you should know exactly what’s happening to your devices and that they’re being broken down without releasing harmful chemicals into the air. If you have any concerns about the process, the e-waste center you choose should be happy to answer your questions.

Don’t wait to find out where to recycle old TVs.

If you’ve ever thought, “I don’t know where an e-waste center near me is, so I can’t recycle this old TV,” we hope this piece has changed your mind. It might be a bit of a hassle to lug your big CRT monitor out to the e-recycling center, but it will be well worth it in the end. You’re saving the earth and saving yourself some storage room. It’s a win-win.