How to Properly Dispose of a TV

Identify acceptable methods to dispose of an old, broken, or still-functioning TV.

By Deirdre Mundorf | Published Feb 28, 2022 7:01 PM

how to dispose of a tv

Photo: istockphoto.com

Q: I recently purchased a new television for my living room, but I’m unsure what to do with the old one. What are the proper steps for disposing of a TV? Can I put it out with my weekly trash pick-up, or will I need to take it somewhere?

A: Knowing how to dispose of a TV properly—and electronics disposal practices in general—are important but often overlooked. Televisions should not be thrown in the trash where they’ll end up in a landfill, as some contain hazardous chemicals that can pollute the environment.

Landfills are filling up with electronic waste, also called e-waste. It’s estimated that about 50 million metric tons of e-waste is produced each year. Choosing an approved method to dispose of your television is an important step in doing your part to combat our planet’s e-waste problem. Continue reading to learn how to dispose of a TV properly.

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Donate TVs that still work.

If you’re trying to decide what to do with an old TV that still works, consider donating it. While you may have purchased a new TV as an upgrade for your old one, someone else will probably gladly accept your old TV.

You can start by checking with friends or family to see if anyone you know needs a TV. If no one does, contact local charitable organizations to see if any of them accept used TVs. Donating your TV rather than throwing it out may also provide you with a deduction on your taxes.

Take old or broken TVs to a local e-waste recycling center.

how to dispose of a tv

Photo: istockphoto.com

As should be considered with any electronics, it’s important to know what is in a TV before disposing of one. TVs contain chemicals, gasses, and various electronic components that should not simply be placed in a landfill. Older televisions contain toxic materials and are even considered household hazardous waste.

In addition to the potentially harmful materials inside a TV, they also contain many components that can be recycled and used again. These include glass, plastic, copper wiring, and other precious metals. Keeping your TV out of a landfill will prevent these valuable resources from going to waste.

If your television is broken and cannot be donated, finding an e-waste recycling center is the safest and most environmentally friendly option. Try searching online for “TV recycling near me” to find the closest e-waste recycling center.

Give it to Best Buy or another retailer that accepts e-waste for recycling.

If you don’t have an e-waste recycling center near you, consider giving your used TV to Best Buy or another local retailer that offers TV recycling services. These companies collect televisions and other electronics and will take your item to an approved e-waste recycling center.

In some cases, Best Buy may even pick up your old TV from your home. If you purchase a new TV and have it delivered, you can request pickup of your old device for a small fee. Even if you purchase your new television from another retailer, you can still schedule a separate pickup from Best Buy.

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See if the TV manufacturer will take it back.

In some cases, you may be able to return your old TV to its manufacturer. Some TV manufacturers may be interested in reusing or repurposing some of the components in your old television.

If you are unsure whether this service is available through your TV’s manufacturer, start by checking their website for information. You can also call to see if they offer recycling. Some manufacturers may even give you a credit toward the purchase of a new product.

If it still works, try selling it.

how to dispose of a tv

Photo: istockphoto.com

Wondering where you can sell your TV for cash is a perfectly acceptable line of thinking, too. If you wish to sell your TV, the first step is to confirm that it’s still working. If it is, consider selling it online through Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or even eBay. However, remember that packing and shipping the TV may be difficult, so finding a local buyer may be the easiest solution.

If you also have other items to sell, you may want to consider holding a yard sale. If you’re having a garage sale, you may need to price your TV a bit lower than you would when selling it online; people are often looking for bargains when shopping at a yard sale.