For most household items you want to get rid of, it’s as simple as tossing them in the trash. However, for larger items and electronics like old televisions, disposal is a lot more complicated. Thankfully, you still have plenty of options to get rid of your old TV.
To learn more about how to safely and responsibly dispose of your old television set, keep reading. We’ll go over everything you need to know, no matter what type of TV you have or even how large it is.
1. Call a Trash Removal Service
The first and most obvious option you probably thought of for getting rid of your old TV set is simply calling up a trash removal service to haul it off and dispose of it. In recent years, more junk removal services have come up with ways to safely get rid of old TVs for a reasonable cost, making this a clear winner if you want something simple and hands-off.
However, not all junk removal services even have this option, and many have specific rules for the disposal of certain types and sizes of TV sets.
The larger your TV is, the more difficult it will be to get rid of and potentially recycle, meaning you may end up paying a pretty substantial fee if you have a larger and more modern flatscreen.
In some cases, you may end up saving some money if you simply haul it off to a landfill or recycling center on your own, though you will miss out on the convenience of a trash removal service.
To determine if your TV is eligible for this kind of disposal, call a few local junk removal companies first. Tell them your TV’s specifications and size so they can decide if they have the resources available to properly dispose of or potentially recycle it.
If you aren’t sure if you want to spend extra cash on having someone else haul your TV away for you, the next option might suit your needs a bit better.
2. Take the TV to a Landfill
This option is very similar to the last one, though you’ll be doing the heavy lifting and research all on your own. Many consumers simply don’t want to bother with having a trash removal company come to their home and transport the TV to a landfill or recycling center; they’d rather take care of it themselves to potentially save money.
Be aware, though, that you most likely won’t be able to simply toss the TV in the back of your car or truck and dump it at your nearest landfill. Depending on where you live, many landfills have specific rules and regulations for electronic waste items like TV sets that you will need to follow accordingly prior to disposal.
Plus, some states, such as California and Hawaii, won’t allow you to dispose of a television at a landfill at all; in that case, recycling, donating, or reselling are your only options.
If you’re considering this option, be sure to call your local landfill well in advance and let them know the type and size of TV set you are hoping to get rid of. You may need to package it a certain way or fill out forms before disposal. Furthermore, many landfills charge fees to dispose of electronic waste items like televisions.
3. Return the TV to Its Manufacturer
Finally, you could always contact your TV set’s manufacturer to see if they have a specific process in place for disposing of or recycling their old products. Many manufacturers, such as Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony have designated drop-off sites and facilities for electronic waste disposal.
However, keep in mind that some manufacturers may still need you to fill out certain forms or even pay a fee to drop off a product like an old TV set. Be sure to call the manufacturer in advance to find out where and when you’ll be able to drop off your TV for disposal and if there are any other steps they need you to take beforehand.
4. Take the TV to a Recycling Facility
If you want a more eco-friendly option, it’s always a good idea to recycle old electronics like TV sets. Nowadays, there are many more recycling facilities designed for electronic waste removal, and they will allow you to drop your TV off for recycling for free or for a small fee depending on your location.
Unfortunately, most of them won’t pick your TV up for you, so you’ll need to carefully package and insulate it when putting it in the back of your vehicle to prevent it from becoming damaged on the trip to the facility. Try wrapping your TV set in bubble wrap, blankets, or old clothing and tie it down securely to prevent it from rolling around in the back of your car or truck.
As with most of these options, be sure to call your local recycling facility well in advance so you can inform them of the type and size of television you’re trying to get rid of. They may need you to fill out forms or pay a fee beforehand.
5. Donate the TV
Another great option you have is to donate your television set to a community center, retirement community, school, daycare, or even a neighbor who needs one. If your TV still works well and is in good shape, this is a very charitable and responsible way to get rid of it while also getting more use out of it for years to come.
Try calling around local charities or ask your friends and family if they know anyone who happens to need a TV like yours. While you probably will need to drop it off by yourself, you’ll definitely feel good about this recycling method, and your TV will find a new home, too.
6. Sell the TV
If your TV is still in great shape, you could potentially sell it in a yard sale, in your local newspaper’s classified ads, or through an online marketplace like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, for example. This option is ideal for making a bit of extra cash and ensuring the TV doesn’t sit in a landfill when it still is in decent condition.
Take plenty of pictures of your TV set and post them online or put an ad in your local paper. You’d be surprised how many people need to find a decent TV on a budget, and you’ll make a bit of extra cash, too!
See also: Buying a Used TV (Questions You Need to Ask)
7. Use the TV for a DIY Project
This option is pretty unconventional, but it is still worth mentioning. Depending on the size and shape of your TV set, you could repurpose it for a fun DIY project. For example, you could turn it into a planter, a terrarium, or a shelf with a bit of imagination and effort.
Check out websites like Pinterest for ideas if you want to get creative with your old TV and turn it into something new.
Determining the Best Way to Get Rid of an Old TV
Disposing of an old TV can be tricky, as in most cases, you won’t be able to simply chuck it in a trash bin. From older cathode ray tube TVs to more modern-day flat screens, many TV sets contain hazardous materials, chemicals, and other dangerous pollutants that can significantly damage air and water quality if they aren’t disposed of properly.
Because of the materials, some landfills and junk removal services either won’t take TV sets, or they’ll have specific rules for disposing of them safely. Additionally, the sheer size of modern TVs means they will take up a lot of space at your local dump. They will also emit lots of pollutants into the air and local water supplies if you simply drop them off as-is.
With so many different sizes and types of TVs on the market now, from those with LCD to LED and OLED displays, it’s clear that disposal is not always straightforward. Different TVs contain different materials and varying amounts of said materials, and many of them, like glass, metal, and plastic can easily be recycled and reused to create other products.
Thankfully, in recent years, more and more facilities have emerged that are specifically designed to safely recycle or otherwise get rid of electronic waste items like old TV sets.
Plus, if your TV still works, you have the option of donating it or even reselling it whenever you purchase a new one. You could even use your old TV as part of a DIY project, like turning it into a planter box or aquarium.
Since there are so many ways you could potentially dispose of your TV, you must determine which most appropriately suits your needs.
When it comes to getting rid of an old television, you thankfully have plenty of options, from having a trash removal service haul it off to donating it or even repurposing it with a fun DIY project.
Many of the above disposal methods will work well for various types and sizes of TV sets, so it’s up to you to determine which one best suits your needs. If possible, go with the most eco-friendly option available to you, as this will ensure the TV doesn’t release harmful chemicals into your local water and air supply.