How to recycle your old TV

February 20, 2009 4:19:14 PM PST
Tips and suggestions for reusing, recycling and disposing of your old televisions.

Erin's tips and suggestions:

Best options for disposal of your old TV & unique uses in your home for the old TV

  • Keep it. Because these TVs won't have access to broadcast television programs, putting an older TV into a room for kids to watch movies or play video games on can help ensure your kids aren't watching something they shouldn't be on TV.
  • Find a new home for it. Check to see if your favorite charitable organization is still taking analog TVs. (They might be more willing to accept one if you donate an accompanying converter box.) Or find someone who wants it through your local reuse group.
  • The next best option: Recycle it.
Plasma or LCD TV: which is greener?
There's no one definition of a "green" TV, but shoppers looking to make sustainable purchases can consider several factors:
  • Size matters. Larger TVs use more energy than smaller models using the same technology. You'll save money at the store and on your electricity by not buying a television that's larger than you need.
  • Plasma TVs can use twice as much power to operate than a similar sized LCD. A typical 42-inch plasma TV will cost at least $200 more to operate over the life of the product than a similar size LCD TV, according to Noah Horowitz, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
  • Televisions with the Energy Star 3.0 label are 30 percent more efficient than those that aren't qualified. Here's another chance to save money on operating costs.
  • Several TVs make sustainability claims. Here are links to recent reviews from T3, CNET, The Wall Street Journal, and EcoGeek. Try searching My Green Electronics for television suggestions.
Easy ways to recycle your TV
  • If you're buying a new TV, ask if the retailer or manufacturer will recycle your old TV. Best Buy and Sony, for example, will take away your old TV when you have a new one delivered.
  • You'll want to find a responsible recycler so that your old TV isn't shipped overseas. Search Earth911's comprehensive database. Visit the Electronics Manufacturers Recycling Management Company website to find out where you can drop your TV off for free.
  • You can find a local recycling center to take your TV by typing in your zip code and "TV Recycling" into Yahoo! Search and you can find the closest recycling centers in your area.
About Erin Carlson:
As Director of Yahoo! for Good, the company's Social Responsibility department, Erin's job is to inspire Yahoo!'s audience of over 500 million people to be more "green" in their daily lives through use of Yahoo! products. She holds a BA in Human Biology/Environmental Management from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.
For more information on Erin Carlson and Yahoo! For Good, visit