You finally got a bigger flat screen TV last year for Christmas. Congratulations! By now you've got it up on the wall, but did you get rid of that old TV?
Maybe you still have your old television and you've tucked in a back bedroom or out in the garage. That's fine if you want to have it around and actually use it. But what do you do with it if you no longer want or need it?
We do have a massive number of televisions in the United States. In fact, since the 1960s it seems that it is inconceivable for anyone to not own at least one television set.
Beginning in 1950, when TVs had only been commercially viable and available for just five years or so, there were about 3,880,000 TV households in the U.S. or close to 9 percent of American homes. By 1960, this number had jumped to more than 45,750,000 households with TVs - a whopping 87 percent of homes!
Fast forward to 1980 and the rate of TV ownership was peaking at over 98 percent of households in the United States with at least on television.
These days we Americans own at least two televisions, according to one source,
"The U.S Energy Information Administration's (EIA) most recent Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) showed that an average of 2.3 televisions were used in American homes in 2015."
The problem is that we routinely replace older sets either because they've stopped working or we want newer or bigger units. And that means we have to either keep the old ones or, more often than not, find a proper way to dispose of the unwanted TV sets.
And if you're in that position today just know that you're not alone.
In fact, you might be one of those tens of thousands of individuals still holding on to a really old television set. You know - the big, bulky ones with the tube inside? That's called a cathode ray tube, by the way.
And it's been estimated that there have been 704.9 million cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions sold just in the U.S. since 1980, according to the EPA.
It's also estimated that there have been over 20 million of these TV sets still being disposed of every year - and that number gets larger each year, as well.
All the more reason why it's definitely better to donate old but still working TV sets than to try to toss them in the trash. But many people may wonder how hard that might be since their old TVs are, well... old?
Regardless of how small or how old your used, but still working, TV might be, it can be donated and find many more years of use by someone else.
Not everyone wants or needs a 75 inch mega-pixel, state of the art, flat screen monster in their home. And many folks would be perfectly happy with a small, old-school CRT television that still works.
While you might be hard-pressed to find someone willing to give you much money for these old television sets, donated or gifting them can be both easy and quite gratifying.
For example, one author offered this advice for making this happen,
"If you've got old TVs sitting around that still work—be them flat-screen or CRT—consider donating them instead. Try calling up your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or even a school or public library, and see if they're in need of a TV. We've donated all manner of TVs to the Goodwill around the corner from our office, so we're here to tell you that it can be easily done. Try Googling 'donate electronics.'
You might also consider calling your local hobby shop or video game store—some older games are still played exclusively on CRTs, and the gamers are always looking for working sets."
And the following suggestions were offered in a post at PocketSense:
There are often many ways to find a new home for your old TV donation. The folks at the website GreenCitizen had these suggestions:
"While the majority of households probably won’t have much use for one of these old televisions, there are still plenty of places that would accept them with open arms.
As long as it’s still in working order, you could contact some local schools, homeless support centers, non-profit organizations, and even some thrift stores.
Just call or send them an email with a picture of it before you decide to drop it off.
As long as your TV is not too old or overly damaged, then you might be surprised at how you can do some TV recycling for cash.
Try advertising it on Craigslist and see if there are any old school gamers who are often looking for an old TV that they can use with traditional 80s and 90s gaming consoles."
Donating is almost always a better choice than simply throwing out a working TV set, no matter how old it is. Up to a point, that is.
Really old sets, like pre-1980, may not even be desirable for most people. Those are probably the sets that you should consider recycling instead.
But, that being said, donating them can still be a far better option than disposing of old TVs.
If you are one of those thousands of Americans who still have a CRT television set or two at home collecting dust and taking up space, you could take it to a recycling facility and go through the retape and often time-consuming process of dropping them off.
Or you can simply donate them.
Techwalla offers some steps to efficiently donating your old TV set that has a tube in it:
Find a charity organization that will accept a donated television. Many thrift stores, such as Goodwill or the Salvation Army, accept older-model televisions still in working condition. Some technical colleges will accept both working and non-working sets to use as parts for students in training. Call a public school in your area and ask if an older tube television would be beneficial to class instruction. You can also contact your county recycling department for referrals to places that accept donated televisions. Some recycling departments will also accept televisions for disposal on certain days of the year.
Arrange a time to drop the television off or have it picked up. Depending on how large your television is, the place accepting the television will need time to make space for the set or plan for workers to lift and move it.
Ask for a donation receipt once the television has been donated. Anytime you make a donation to a charity, school, or other non-profit organization, you are entitled to deduct that donation on your taxes. Most non-profits and public organizations will be happy to provide a receipt upon request.
Unfortunately, there may be a situation where your old TV is either too big (think 1970s rear projection monsters!)or too old(black and white with no inputs or outputs). So, what do you do with those dinosaurs?
Well, you won't be taking them to the county or city dump! At least not in half the states in the U.S. anyway.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) website:
These means that at least half the states only allow for legally sanctioned disposal methods for old TVs and other electronic waste items, known as e-waste.
Here's what that looks like on a map:
Of course, if you don't live in California or one the other 24 states you might be able to take your old TV set to your local landfill or county dump. But it's probably not a great idea environmentally speaking.
Those nasty, old CRT devices - cathode ray tubes - are made of primarily toxic materials. According to an article at Wikipedia,
"Older color and monochrome CRTs may have been manufactured with toxic substances, such as cadmium, in the phosphors. The rear glass tube of modern CRTs may be made from leaded glass, which represent an environmental hazard if disposed of improperly."
For this and other environmental reasons, it's always a better option to give away your old TV if at all possible. Short of that, try to find a recycling service that will take the old TVs. It may cost you a bit for fees, but at least you know the device will be properly disposed of. You never want to just dump your old television someplace. Not only is it most likely illegal, it is a hazard to others.
With the ongoing evolution of newer and bigger televisions, you may find that you need to get rid of an "old" flat screen unit. These monsters offer their own hazard for disposal. That's because one of the problems with getting rid of that old "newer" television is the sheer bulk and size of the units. Just removing it and transporting it can be hazardous. Plus you have to get it into a vehicle!
Flat screen TVs don't contain all of the toxic substances of CRTs, but they still have some toxins, primarily mercury. The fact is that, even if you have a flat screen set, you should donate old TV sets no matter what type or size.
And, if your old flat screen set doesn't work any more, recycling is still the best option for getting rid of it.
The most efficient and convenient way to take care of your old TV disposal needs is to call a reputable junk hauling firm like Junk King. And this can include old computer monitors, old CRT televisions, and large, flat screen units.
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly TV disposal service to make the whole process easy for you.
Our experienced television removal team will haul off that old TV set without damaging your home on the way out. We’ll do all the heavy lifting - no need to carry items out to the curb. And, best of all, we’ll make sure that the TV is disposed of at a proper recycling facility so that it doesn’t do any harm to our ecosystem.
Our professional and insured TV disposal team will show up at your home (or workplace) and we will call you 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive on site.
We'll always give you a free estimate based on how much room your various junk items take up in our truck. You simply point and we'll haul your old TV set and other unwanted materials into our junk removal trucks, - and we do it with no hidden fees!
You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).