How to Dispose Of an Old TV?

Manufacturers use valuable resources and materials such as plastic, metal, glass, etc. in the production of electronic appliances.

These resources require energy to manufacture and then to use for the production of other products.

This makes disposing of electronics an important consideration to refrain from wasting these resources and is the reason why so many people think about recycling their old electronics.

What’s more, recycling also conserves natural resources and prevents pollution.

With the holiday season just around the corner, it is very likely that a lot of households will be getting new TVs and people will hence be looking for ways to dispose of their old ones.

While most people think that leaving out their TV sets for trash pickup is a convenient option, many trash companies do not take large electronics at all.

Dumping TVs into landfills also causes environmental pollution.

So, how can you possibly dispose of your old TV without posing a risk to the environment and preventing useful resources from going to waste?

Read through this article to learn everything you need to know about disposing of your old TV and how can you do it responsibly.

Why Do Old TVs Need to be Disposed of Correctly?

E-waste is a widely debated topic, and there are many issues regarding electronic waste disposal.

According to different laws, you cannot throw large electronic objects directly into the trash.

There are some rules and regulations for disposing of electronic items like TVs, cell phones, microwaves, etc.

The amount of e-waste is increasingly growing every year, and TV and other electronic appliances contribute to some of the most toxic waste.

Using TVs is alright, however, when these electric appliances become unusable, they add to air and water pollution.

Television sets that people dump in the trash get rusted and break, releasing numerous toxic chemicals and substances into the environment.

The most toxic elements in electronic items are lead, chromium, mercury, barium, and arsenic.

With ever-increasing technological advancements, newer and smarter models of TVs come out on the regular. This makes many households replace their old TVs with new ones every year.

The old cathode ray tube models of televisions last from many years to decades.

That said, once they are no longer usable, you should dispose of your old TV in the right way, so keep reading to learn how!

Also read: How To Dispose of old iPad

How to Dispose of Your Old TV

Following are some easy ways to dispose of your old television set:

Donating Your Old TV

Donating your old TV is one of the best ways of disposing of them. Reusing the item is also way better than recycling.

Many families cannot afford a new TV, and your old TV can make a difference in their lives.

Additionally, thanks to inflation, it is now very easy to find a family who won’t be able to afford a TV like yours.

However, before reaching out to them to donate it, check your TV thoroughly to ensure that it works fine.

Check for all the buttons and essential features to make sure that the TV is functioning the way it should.

If you find any defects, fix them. If these defects are beyond fixing, then you probably shouldn’t donate a TV like that.

Instead, you can give this defective TV to a theatre or acting school, allowing them to use it as a prop.

The next step is to ask around, possibly your relatives or other needy people, if they want a TV. You may find one nearby your location. They will even help you transport the TV to their place.

You will discover providing this little help to someone needy is very fulfilling.

You can also donate your old TV to social service organizations like old homes, schools, community centers, shelters, etc.

Also read: How To Dispose Of Computer Monitors?

Selling your Old TV

You might not get much for your old TV set but it is always better someone else uses it rather than throwing it in the trash.

You can find many online retailers like Amazon, eBay, Best Buy, etc. that may offer you a fair price for your old TV.

You can consider multiple options and place ads on different online platforms simultaneously to get the best price for your TV.

Compare different options before making a final decision to sell it to a suitable retailer.

Start by advertising your TV on different online retail websites and add all the necessary details along with pictures to ensure that everyone knows exactly what’s in store.

It is also essential to consider the credibility of the buyer to prevent any scam.

Also, ensure you take full payment before handing over your TV set as these retailers are not liable for any issues with the payments after they have had the possession.

Most online retailers transport the item themselves, saving you the trouble and cost of doing so.

Another important thing to do before handing over the possession to the buyer is to make the buyer check the working condition of your TV as you will not be liable for any problem after the purchase.

Provide the buyer with all the accessories, if any, along with the TV set.

Recycling your Old TV

If your TV is not in working condition or you can neither sell your TV nor donate it, the best option for you is to recycle it by sending it to a recycling and disposal service.

You can find various recycling companies in your town or city. Most recycling services offer drop-off options for old TVs.

You will have to drop off the TV at a specific location that the recycling service will inform you about.

You’ll also be able to find a few TV recycling services that offer free pickup facilities.

You might have to do some online research to find out the best options that offer the free recycling of old TVs.

On the other hand, some services might even charge you a recycling fee.

Some recycling services also require you to follow some rules and conditions.

You can find out about this information on their website, or you can directly reach out to them by calling.

If a particular option works for you, you can request them to pick up your old TV. You can also transport your TV on your own to avoid the transportation fee.

Challenges of Disposing of Old TVs

Televisions are part of a category of waste that’s known as e-waste.

E-waste is the short form of electronic waste that includes electronic items that are reaching the end of their useful life.

E-waste like old TVs is sometimes difficult to dispose of and even poses a risk to our environment. Here are some common challenges of disposing of old TVs:

Difficulty of Recycling

Like many other electronic devices, TVs also contain toxic substances like lead, mercury, cadmium, etc.

The presence of these materials makes the overall process of recycling old TVs difficult and expensive.

Since dumping TVs can be hazardous for the environment, it is, therefore, illegal. The former TV sets with fragile and heavier cathode ray tubes are even more challenging to dispose of or recycle.

Disposing of old flat-screen TVs also comes with its own set of challenges. Older models with LCD lights in the screens can have up to 20 mercury-filled tubes.

Mercury is a toxic metal that causes poisoning in humans when it is inhaled, ingested, or comes in contact with the skin.

The screens of these TV sets are hard to take apart so the workers have to break those tubes which can be quite hazardous.

Low Demand and Prices of Dismantled Components

Some years ago, recycling and disposal companies could dismantle components of old TVs without any damage and sell them for reuse.

Due to the high prices of metal, the glass tubes containing lead could be melted down to make new cathode ray tubes.

With the advancement of technology, LED and plasma televisions replaced CRT TV sets. This decreased the demand for CRTs and, as a result, the need for lead-filled glass tubes also declined.

The cost of metal commodities also fell for a long time in the past, decreasing the demand for dismantled components from old TV sets.

Difficulty of Transportation

Most recycling and disposal services do not offer transportation services for old TV sets.

Transporting the TV to a recycling center is one of the most challenging parts of disposing of old TVs. TVs are big, heavy, and breakable.

You will need a big vehicle to transport your old TV to a recycling location. Lifting and carrying a TV can also cause accidents that can lead to irreparable damage.

There is also a risk of injury if you lift a TV with the wrong posture.


Disposing of old TV sets can be a challenging task at hand. Most people who buy a new TV look for ways to dispose of their old TVs in the right way.

Dumping your old TV in the trash poses the risk of environmental pollution.

The best option is to donate your TV set if it is entirely functional. The other option is to recycle it by sending it to a recycling and disposal service.

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