Going About CRT TV Recycling

For novice and more in-depth DIY’ers alike, an intimate familiarity with methods for disposal of materials should be old hat at some point. You’re going to go through a lot of components and waste materials with your projects whether they’re great successes or not. You may have realized that your TV is wasting valuable space in your kitchen or other room (wondering if your bulky TV is ruining your kitchen? Check out this article on My Ideal Home to find out) and realized it’s time to upgrade! Since we recently ran a popular series of articles on performing your own DIY TV wall mount, we thought we’d talk about how to properly get rid of any old CRT TVs you may have lying around–it’s important not to just toss them in the garbage!

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Reusability is a core tenet of the great do-it-yourselfer. With the rise in reclaimed wood projects like cool waterfall tables that are totally overrunning reddit communities, the value in cycled material is is greater than ever. Recycling electronics is even more important when it comes to the health of the environment; per the EPA, recycling a million laptops conserves an equivalent amount of energy to that used by 3,500 US homes in a year!

crt tv recycling facility stacks of crt tubes - How to Go About CRT TV Recycling

Hundreds of CRTs in a recycling facility

How to Recycle Your Old CRT TV

You may be wondering why it’s such a big deal to avoid just tossing your old CRT in the waste bin. After all, through the years we’ve all trashed a great deal of our old relics in favor of new technology. The fact is that Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) TVs, without proper disposal methods, are harmful to the environment. In the US, it is illegal to simply discard one. Avoid a potential fine as well as contributing to the degradation of the environment by following some easy steps:

  • DON’T just place your TV on the curb: With the accessibility and low cost of newer televisions, it will sit there indefinitely. Additionally, it may become damaged by weather or circumstance, making it even more difficult to recycle.
  • DON’T cleverly hide it in your trash cans: Super illegal and damaging to the environment in landfills.
  • DO use a certified electronics recycling vendor with your state (more below).

Safe and certified recycling facilities are conveniently located pretty much anywhere. These locations are equipped to recapture most of the raw material from the CRT for reusability. Even the leaded glass which is fairly difficult to find use for may wind up in a landfill in California, one of the tougher states on waste. But these recycling stations are capable of managing the disassembly of all materials safely. Excitingly, new technologies are on the rise that even permit fully separating the lead from the glass so that both materials can be recycled. Nice!

leaded glass video game gun - How to Go About CRT TV Recycling

From CS:GO: Leaded glass isn’t always this cool

You can find an incomplete list of UNICOR electronics recycling locations here.

A Note On Illinois CRT TV Recycling

Just last year, Illinois Governor Rauner signed the Consumer Electronics Recycling Act (CERA), bringing the electronics recycling program for the state out of the stone age. In essence, it created a convenience standard for recycling your electronics that guarantees a minimum number of locations for recycling collection in every participating county. It’s important to note that a good deal of it won’t take effect until January 2019, and in those cases the old act EPPRA is still in effect.

Under CERA, there are 17 acceptable covered electronic devices for collection (and thus banned from landfills):

  • Cable Receivers
  • Computers (desktop, laptop, netbook, notebook, tablet)
  • Digital Converter Boxes
  • Digital Video Disc Players
  • Digital Video Disc Recorders
  • Electronic Keyboards
  • Electronic Mice
  • Facsimile Machines
  • Monitors
  • Portable Digital Music Players
  • Printers
  • Satellite Receivers
  • Scanners
  • Small Scale Servers
  • Televisions
  • Videocassette Recorders
  • Video Game Consoles

Good luck with your recycling, and all your future DIY projects! And thanks for taking an interest in keeping the environment in good health.

Now that you’ve removed that CRT, read about the importance of getting its old dusty space in your home cleaned up nicely.