The Do’s & Don’t's of Disposing of Old TVs (and Other Electronics)


TV Sets, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from shaun/d’s photostream

Since January, Pennsylvania’s Covered Device Recycling Act has disallowed the disposal of televisions (and some other electronic devices) with your regular garbage. All electronic devices may contain some hazardous waste. Televisions and monitors with Cathode ray tubes (CRTs) contain relatively high concentrations of lead and phosphors which make them particularly hard to recycle.

So what to do with that old hulking monster of a TV set when you’d finally ready to kick it to the curb? Well, first, don’t kick it to the curb. The Post-Gazette lists some resources for recycling. These include:

Construction Junction
214 North Lexington Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15208
(412) 243-5025

Michael Brothers Hauling & Recycling
5331 McAnulty Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15236

Best Buy Stores

Goodwill Industries

But as the P-G reports, “For Goodwill, the increase in TVs as a result of the act led to an announcement Tuesday that the agency would no longer be accepting them, as the agency has met its 1.5 million pound recycling allotment for the year.”

You can find additional recycling resources here. You can also try Earth911 for all your difficult-to-recycle items. Just type in the material you want to recycle and your zip code and you’ll get a list of locations.

The following items are covered under the new act:

• Covered computer device – A desktop or notebook computer or computer monitor or peripheral, marketed and intended for use by a consumer.

• Covered television device – An electronic device that contains a tuner that locks on to a selected carrier frequency and is capable of receiving and displaying television or video programming via broadcast, cable or satellite, including, without limitation, any direct view or projection television with a viewable screen of four inches or larger whose display technology is based on cathode ray tube, plasma, liquid crystal, digital light processing, liquid crystal on silicon, silicon crystal reflective display, light emitting diode or similar technology marketed and intended for use by a consumer primarily for personal purposes.

• Peripheral – A keyboard, printer or any other device sold exclusively for external use with a computer that provides input into or output from the computer.



tv1, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from darkthirty’s photostream