Even though old computer monitors can look like useless junk, it is important to dispose of them carefully and in the correct manner.
First, consider whether your monitor still has some use left. If it’s in decent condition, think about donating it to someone who needs it.
Donating not only helps others, but it also follows the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle principle of sustainability.
On the other hand, if your monitor is no longer functional or useful, it’s time to think about recycling options.
You should avoid kicking a computer monitor out of your house just like the rest of your trash because it comes under hazardous waste.
Computer Monitors Can Turn Into Toxic Waste
Disposing of computer monitors is an important task to ensure the safety of our environment.
Monitors contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can be harmful if not disposed of correctly.
Computer monitors, especially the older Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) models, contain toxic metals and other materials that can harm the environment.
When these monitors end up in landfills, they release hazardous substances that can contaminate the soil, air, and water.
To prevent such pollution, it’s essential to recycle or dispose of computer monitors correctly.
Some hazardous materials found in monitors are:
- Lead: A toxic metal that can damage the nervous system, kidneys, and reproductive system.
- Mercury: A harmful neurotoxin that can lead to brain and kidney damage.
- Cadmium: A toxic metal that can cause damage to the kidneys, lungs, and bones.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends donating or recycling electronics like computer monitors to conserve resources and avoid pollution.
Also read: How To Dispose of Old iPad or iPhone
Ways To Dispose Of Computer Monitors
Let’s take a look at what you can do with computer monitors that are no longer needed or are outdated, considering the fast-changing trends of today.
Send It Back To A Computer Manufacturer
Electronic devices such as computers come from large manufacturing companies such as Apple, Epson, Dell, Gateway, Hewlett Packard, and IBM.
These computer manufacturers have their own recycling programs, making it easy for you to dispose of computer monitors.
All you have to do is find out whether they will allow you to drop off the computer monitor at one of their locations or have you ship it to them.
This is where they recycle these computer monitors and other electronic parts for free as well as refurbish them for further use.
You can easily check out your computer monitor’s manufacturer’s website for more information.
Below I have collated information on some of these manufacturers who have a computer monitor recycling program
- Apple: Apple provides a recycling program for all its devices, including computer monitors. They will even give you a gift card for the value of your device if it’s eligible.
- Dell: Dell’s recycling program involves recycling computer monitors and other electronics. You can drop off your old monitor at a participating location, or they can arrange for a pickup for bulk disposals.
- Hewlett Packard (HP): HP has a take-back program where you can recycle your old computer monitors and other electronics. You can also trade in eligible devices for credit towards a new HP product.
- IBM: IBM has a partnership with Sims Recycling Solutions to offer a responsible recycling service for your computer monitors and other electronics.
- Gateway: While Gateway doesn’t have a direct take-back program, they are owned by Acer, which offers a recycling program for your computer monitors and other devices.
- Amazon: Amazon’s Recycling Program primarily focuses on their own devices, like Kindles and Echo devices, but they also partner with other companies to help you recycle your computer monitors and other electronics.
For other manufacturers like Canon and other consumer electronics brands, you can check their specific websites to see if they have take-back or recycling programs available.
Most electronic manufacturers understand the importance of responsible disposal and recycling of their products, so don’t hesitate to explore their websites or contact their customer support for more information.
This way, the computer manufacturer will be completing their service and saving the computer monitor from going into a landfill – even if it’s one monitor at a time.
Also read: How to Dispose Of an Old TV?
Give It To A Family Member Or Friend In Need
You can always try to look up a family member or friend who might make use of your old computer monitor.
It could be for a project, an old-school computer setup, or anything else that they need it for.
You would save them some money as well as allow them to take an out-of-date monitor off your hands.
Even though newer, sleeker monitors are available in the market, old-school computer monitors are durable.
So, simply just get the word out that you have a spare computer monitor, and you never know who might need it from your very own contact list.
Also read: How To Dispose Of Old Cell Phones?
Donate It To A Charity
It is very important to abide by the three Rs of sustainability.
When it comes to electronic items such as computer monitors, it is very easy to reduce, reuse and recycle them.
Undoubtedly, recycling your computer monitor by sending it back to a computer manufacturer is a great way to go, but donating it to someone in need can play the role of unburdening it from yourself as well as having someone else make good use of it.
You can send an old monitor to thrift stores and other charity shops.
Or you can drop it off at underdeveloped schools that need computer parts in order to set up a computer lab for their courses.
There are several organizations and places you can consider donating your old monitors:
- Charities: Many charities, such as Goodwill, accept working computer monitors and other electronic devices. These donated items are often used for their programs or sold in their stores to generate funds for the charity.
- Church organizations: Some churches and religious organizations collect electronic devices, including computer monitors, for their own use or to support their community outreach programs.
- Municipal agencies: Some local government agencies and recycling centers have programs that accept electronic devices for donation. They may have partnerships with schools or other non-profit organizations that can benefit from the donated items.
Before donating your old computer monitor, follow these steps:
- Clean the monitor and ensure it’s in good working condition. This means no severe scratches, cracks, or other functional issues.
- Delete any personal information that may be stored on the monitor, especially if it has built-in software and user profiles.
- Check with the organization you’re donating to for any specific donation requirements or procedures.
By donating or reusing old computer monitors, you are not only helping those in need but also reducing the amount of electronic waste that ends up in landfills.
So next time you want to get rid of an old monitor, think about how it can be put to good use again.
Also read: How to Dispose of Old Routers?
Search For An e-Waste Collection Drive
In well-developed countries and larger cities, there are several municipal agencies and organizations that organize e-waste collection drives.
You can send off any electrical equipment, such as your old computer monitors, for free in these collection drives.
Even if these collection drives are not free, they might charge a nominal fee which is something you should consider to save the environment.
These collection drives can help collect several computer equipment or other electrical waste and dispose of it carefully instead of dumping it in a local landfill and creating more toxic waste.
If you do not have any other resources or collection facilities, you should seek out an e-waste collection drive and dispose of your computer monitors the correct way.
If you do not have an e-waste collection drive going on at the moment, you should keep your computer monitors safe and sound till the collection drive comes around.
Under no circumstances should you just dump a computer monitor in the trash because you will be doing the environment pretty huge disfavor.
A great way to go is to collect all your electrical equipment and store it in your garage till you can dispose of it in a collection drive all at once.
Also read: How to Dispose of a Computer Keyboard?
Recycle Your Computer Monitor
Simply bring your old monitor to one of these stores, and they will ensure it is recycled properly.
If you do not live close to any of these stores, you can seek out a Big Box store that may be close to your place.
Considering the case of computer monitors, the cost of recycling this particular electrical equipment is higher compared to other computer elements.
The glass found in computer monitors is much more of use compared to any other component in it.
Therefore, the recycling of a computer monitor is highly dependent on the glass market.
This is one of the reasons why Big Box stores such as Best Buy charges people at least $25 for recycling their own monitors.
While some people may not want to pay this fee just to dispose of their computer monitors, it is important to think about the bigger picture and how you would be saving the environment.
These programs are trustworthy recycling programs because they work with acknowledged recycling companies that are dedicated to saving the environment and protecting landfills from hazardous waste.
Even though these recycling programs may vary from store to store, you can still get to dispose of your computer monitor in a safe way.
Additionally, stores such as Staples offer store credit if you recycle certain electrical items, which is a great perk to have.
Also read: How to Dispose of Laptop Battery?
Why Proper Disposal of Computer Monitors is Important
Proper disposal of computer monitors is crucial for numerous reasons.
First and foremost, it helps protect our environment and conserve valuable resources.
When you discard monitors irresponsibly, they can be harmful to the water, air, and soil.
- Water: Chemicals from electronic waste (e-waste) can leach into groundwater, contaminating it and endangering aquatic life.
- Air: Burning e-waste can release toxic fumes, contributing to air pollution and causing health problems.
- Soil: Hazardous materials from monitors can contaminate soil, negatively affecting plant growth and animal habitats.
Computer monitors contain glass, metal, and other harmful substances, which can be hazardous if they end up in landfills.
Some of these materials, like heavy metals and certain chemicals, can pose risks to our health and the environment.
By disposing of your monitor correctly, you reduce the number of these elements entering the environment. Safe disposal methods involve recycling and reusing components, which can be beneficial in multiple ways:
- Reduce waste in landfills: Recycling lessens the amount of e-waste that ends up in landfills, reducing the risk of chemicals contaminating the surroundings.
- Conserve resources: Recycling enables the recovery of valuable materials like aluminum and glass, reducing the need to mine raw materials and therefore, preserving natural resources.
- Energy conservation: It requires less energy to recycle materials than to produce new ones, helping to conserve limited resources.
Taking the time to dispose of your computer monitor properly benefits not only the environment but also animal and human health.
Plus, proper disposal helps conserve energy and resources that contribute to a more sustainable future.
So, next time you need to discard a monitor, be mindful of these impacts and choose safe disposal methods.
Also read: How to Dispose of Gaming Consoles?
Preparing Monitors for Disposal
Before disposing of your computer monitor, it’s essential to properly prepare it to ensure your personal information is protected and the environment remains safe.
Follow these simple steps to prepare your monitor for disposal:
- Secure your personal data: Double-check your monitor for any stored personal information, such as passwords stored in the software settings. Disconnect the monitor from the computer and remove any stored accounts, passwords, or other private data.
- Proper cable management: Gather all the cables, including power cords, DVI, VGA, or HDMI cables. Organize them by wrapping them separately with twist ties or rubber bands. Proper cable management will make transport easier and help prevent potential damage during disposal.
- Remove all hard drives and external storage devices: Detach any external hard drives or USB devices connected to your monitor. These devices may contain sensitive information that you don’t want to fall into the wrong hands.
- Clean the monitor: Use a soft cloth to thoroughly wipe down the monitor’s surface, removing any dust, dirt, or fingerprints. This step is crucial to avoid attracting pests and minimizing the risk of contamination during disposal.
- Transport carefully: When moving your monitor, handle it with care, as monitors can be fragile. To prevent any damage during transport, ensure it is well supported and avoid stacking other objects on top of it.
By following these steps, you can be confident that you’re well-prepared to dispose of your old computer monitor in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
For specific disposal methods, consider recycling your monitor or searching for local electronic waste disposal centers in your area.
Also read: How to Dispose of VHS Tapes?
Frequently Asked Questions about Disposing of Your Computer Monitor
Can Computer Monitors be Thrown in the Trash?
No, computer monitors, especially older models that use cathode ray tube (CRT) technology, should not be thrown in regular trash.
Monitors contain hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and other heavy metals, which can cause environmental contamination if not disposed of properly.
Where can I recycle my computer monitor?
You can recycle your computer monitor at various locations, such as recycling centers, electronic stores like Best Buy, and specific recycling programs.
Check websites like Earth911 to find recycling locations near you.
Are there free disposal services for computer monitors?
Yes, several organizations and services offer free disposal for computer monitors.
Staples, for example, provides a free electronics recycling program that accepts up to seven items per store per day.
Can I earn cash for recycling computer monitors?
Some recycling programs and stores may offer reward points or even cash incentives for recycling your computer monitors.
For instance, Staples’ Rewards Members can get $5 per month for recycling eligible items.
Does Staples accept monitor recycling?
Absolutely! Staples has a free electronics recycling program that accepts computer monitors and other electronic items.
You can drop off up to seven items per store per day.
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