How to Recycle or Donate an Old TV

Use any of these services to sustainably dispose of your electronics.

The question pops up frequently; where do I donate an older TV? Can I recycle a TV, a computer? With the explosion of consumer technology, the challenge of recycling electronics has grown more and more urgent. The United Nations estimates some 40 million tons of electronic waste are produced each year, polluting our oceans and landfills with hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and battery acid.

Here we've compiled a list of services and resources you can use to recycle your electronics.

1. Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company

Recycling plant tellies and monitors Norway.
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MRM Recycling, also known as Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management Company, works with manufacturers and establishes recycling programs across the United States. What's nice about this website is that you can click on a map of the United States and get a localized view of recycling centers in your area (if they exist). MRM was founded by Panasonic, Sharp, and Toshiba but it now has over 20 participating manufacturers.

2. Environmental Health & Safety Online

Discarded electronics in crates stacked in recycling center
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Environment, Health and Safety Online is a resource for environmental news and information. It includes instructions and recommendations for recycling programs in each state, as well as lists of businesses and services where you can take an old tv, computer, phone, battery, or washing machine to be recycled. EHSO also provides professional guidance for answering questions about air and water pollution, food safety, and building material compounds.

3. 1-800-Got-Junk?

Workers sort through a pile of used mobile phones in New Delhi, India
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1-800-Got-Junk is a private business that charges to remove waste from your home, office, or place of work. They claim to remove almost anything, including old furniture, appliances, electronics, yard waste, and renovation debris.

You pay for workers to come and pick up your junk, which is then recycled or donated. They can load junk items wherever they may be, even if it's inside your house. It's a nice solution for those who are unable to move or lift heavy appliances. 1-800-Got-Junk also has a convenient tool to help you estimate how much the service will cost, depending on what you need removed.

4. CalRecycle

Hand Holding PCB Against Green Trees Bokeh
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CalRecycle is a recycling resource operated by the state of California. The site shows you where you can recycle your electronics, depending on the county you live in. Unlike with 1-800-Got-Junk, you would need to transport the items to the recycling center yourself, though doing so will save you money. CalRecycle also has some resources and information for the proper recycling of other products and goods.

5. Recycler's World

Analog TVs
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Recycler's World is sort of like a Craigslist for recyclers. In addition to providing a huge selection of information and instructions for recycling all kinds of goods, it has a buyer/seller exchange. You can use the exchange to post listings for waste and scrap products, providing buyers with an important resource for cheap recyclables. Businesses or individuals looking to sell off old electronics may find Recycler's World to be an invaluable resource. 

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