Avoiding TV Trash: Post-Digital Recycling Initiatives

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Despite economic struggles, retailers predict millions of digital TV sales this winter. These predictions have nothing to do with well-trained salespeople or pushy marketing ploys. Instead, analog TV sets without converters will become obsolete next February, when the official switch to digital television takes place.

Nudged into buying a new TV, some consumers might quickly trash their old set. But considering the energy and materials put into each TV set, that’s not the best idea. At a landfill, the metallic insides of your television — mercury, lead, cadmium — could leak out and contaminate the air and water. Since most parts are easily recyclable now, there’s no need to wait for landfill mining robots to save the day in the far future. Consider researching recycling initiatives available today.

The Environmental Protection Agency promotes local programs that can help consumers recycle old sets, and provides a list that can help with your research. Through these initiatives, “the copper gets turned into new wire and plastic can become mulch, new toys or asphalt filler,” writer Denise Yost explains. Plus, reusing the various plastics and metals helps manufacturers cut back on greenhouse gases.

For more information, visit the EPA’s Plug-In to eCycling website. Your trusted TV set lasted you for years. Just because digital is taking over, don’t let your old friend suffer in a landfill!

–Amy Edwards

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