How to Dispose of an Old TV

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Updated June 27, 2022

Many citizens may need to find information about how to dispose of an old TV as they consider purchasing a new top-rated TV. Many of these sets and other electronic devices should not be put in the trash or set out on a curb. Because of these guidelines, many states’ websites state how to properly handle the disposal, recycling, or donation of an old TV. A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study estimated that about 3.09 million tons of TVs, video equipment, cell phones, and computer equipment were ready for recycling, reuse, or disposal in 2015.


  • Some TVs require special disposal, especially cathode-ray tube TVs.
  • All electronics should be recycled, and you can find information on the department that handles this on your state’s website.
  • You can dispose of, recycle, or donate your old TV.

CRT Disposal

Cathode-ray tube (CRT) TVs used to be common in households across the USA. However, since the switch to digital, these TVs became less and less common, though some households still store their CRT TVs. CRT TVs pose a greater obstacle than plasma or HD TV because they contain hazardous material. This difficulty comes from the fact that CRT TVs contain lead, which is the aforementioned hazardous material. Lead poisoning causes a variety of problems for its victims, meaning that if the lead were just left sitting out, there would be greater problems for residents with a certain vicinity. Some states feature information about the safe disposal of CRT TVs on their websites and include businesses that are qualified to remove these appliances.


Many states run an E-Cycle program with information on their web pages. For some states, this may be run by the Department of Natural Resources or the Department of Ecology. Several of these websites have links to programs that will recycle your electronics that are certified by the state. Sometimes, the state runs an electronics collection event for varying lengths, from a few hours to a couple of weeks. All of the electronics that are brought during that time should be recycled or disposed of properly.

Some retailers allow you to recycle your electronics through them. Best Buy allows you to bring specific electronics to their Customer Service counter in order to recycle them. They also offer appliance haul-away for an additional fee if you purchase a replacement TV. The restrictions and guidelines for each of these options are listed on their website. Additionally, brands such as LG, Samsung, Sony, TCL, and Vizio can help you with the recycling of your electronics.


Donation or Selling of TVs

Some shops, like Habitat ReStore, accept donations of appliances. For charity shops, the sale of a TV results in a donation of at least a percentage of that cost. This money may go to a variety of things, like providing money and materials to build a house for a homeless person and their family. These shops may not take larger TV sets, and you should check with the store before you try to donate to make sure they will accept it. Additionally, some stores may not accept cathode-ray tube TVs.

There are also a number of “retro gamers” that search for CRT TVs because of the low response time, and you may be able to sell one to them. Usually, you place your TV up for sale on a website like eBay, and, if someone is interested, they bid on it or purchase it outright. This option may seem useful if you are running low on cash.


Can I throw a TV in the trash?

You should not throw a TV in the trash, especially if it is a CRT model. Most states have a recycling program for older electronics.

Can you recycle a television?

Many retailers or brands will recycle a television, cutting down on the emission of greenhouse gas and pollution that would have been produced during the manufacturing process.

Why is there a Fee for CRT recycling?

CRT TVs include lead, which is a hazardous material. Because of this classification, it may be significantly harder to store or recycle these TVs, resulting in a fee from the handlers.

STAT: A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency study estimated that about 3.09 million tons of TVs, video equipment, cell phones, and computer equipment were ready for recycling, reuse or disposal in 2015. (source)

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