How to Donate or Recycle a CRT TV (7 Easy Options)

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Do you have an old CRT TV lying around that you don't know what to do with? You're not alone. Many people are unsure of how to properly dispose of these types of TVs.

But don't worry, there are several options available.

  • You can donate your old TV to charitable organizations or even a school.
  • You can sell it online or locally.
  • Or, you can recycle it by sending it back to the TV manufacturers, or using an electronic recycling service.

Read on for more detail as we guide you through the best ways to donate or recycle a CRT TV.

What is a CRT or Tube TV?

A CRT TV is a type of television that uses a cathode ray tube to produce images.

The cathode ray tube is a vacuum tube that contains an electron gun, which fires electrons at a phosphorescent screen.

This produces the images that we see on the screen. CRT TVs were the first type of television to be commercially available, and they remained the most popular type of television for many years. However, they have now been largely replaced by LCD and plasma TVs.

Where to Recycle Your Old TV

Many people don't realize that when they throw their old TV in the trash, it can end up in a landfill, which adds to the growing electronic waste problem.

This is problematic because televisions contain a number of dangerous chemicals, including lead and mercury. These chemicals can pollute the air and leach into the ground, causing serious health problems for people who live nearby.

Additionally, landfills are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, so disposing of TVs in this way can contribute to climate change.

Worse still though, many people don't even bother sending their TV to a landfill and just dump them. I frequently see old TVs sitting abandoned by the roadside which is an absolute disgrace.

Luckily, there are a number of recycling options available for old TVs. By recycling your TV, you can help to reduce pollution and conserve valuable resources.

dispose of old tv

Best Buy

A great option is to take your tube TV to Best Buy. They have a special program for recycling old TVs.

You can either drop it off at the store or use their haul-away service. There is a $30 fee for shipping if they collect the TV from you, but it is worth it to recycle the TV properly.

Best Buy will disassemble the TV and recycle the components. They also offer a trade-in program for newer TVs.

So, if you have a tube TV that you no longer use, be sure to take advantage of Best Buy's recycling program.

Electronics Recycling Center

If you have an old CRT TV that you would like to recycle, there are a few things you need to know.

First, not all electronics recycling centers accept CRT TVs. You'll need to check with your local center to see if they do.

Second, you may be charged a fee for recycling your TV. Again, this will vary depending on the center, so it's best to call ahead and ask about any potential fees.

Finally, you'll need to remove any cords or cables from the TV before taking it in for recycling. With these things in mind, recycling your CRT TV should be a relatively simple process.

Manufacturer Recycling Program

Tube TV recycling through a Manufacturer Recycling Program is easy and helpful to the environment.

First, find the manufacturer of your TV. Most likely, there will be a sticker on the back of the TV with the manufacturer's name and contact information.

Once you have the manufacturer's name, look up their website and find their recycling program. Follow the instructions on the website to recycle your TV. The process is usually free if you take your old TV to the store, and may even be picked up from your house for a small fee.

Even if a fee is required, remember that by recycling your CRT TV through a Manufacturer Recycling Program, you are keeping hazardous materials out of landfills and helping to protect the environment.

The EPA Website has a list of different manufacturers and retailers that offer a Tube TV disposal service.

Where can I Recycle a Broken TV?

Most recycling centers will still accept a broken TV, but there are a few things you need to do before you bring it in.

Contact your local TV recycling center in advance to see what specific requirements they have, which may include the following.

First, remove all of the hardware, such as the cords and remote control. Next, take off the back panel so that the center can see that all of the sensitive components have been removed.

Finally, make sure to clearly label the TV as “broken” so that the workers know how to properly handle it. With these simple steps, you can recycle your broken TV without any trouble.

Why is it Important to Recycle Tube TVs

Most people are aware of the importance of recycling in general, but some electronics are more challenging to recycle than others. Old TVs, for instance, contain a number of materials that can be harmful to the environment if not properly disposed of.

First and foremost, most CRT TVs contain lead. When lead is released into the atmosphere, it can cause a number of health problems, including brain damage and developmental issues.

In addition, tube TVs also contain other heavy metals, such as cadmium and mercury. These metals can contaminate water supplies and cause a variety of health problems.

Finally, tube TVs also contain a number of harmful chemicals, including flame retardants and phthalates. Proper tube TV recycling helps to ensure that these materials are properly disposed of.

Where to Sell or Donate Your Old TV

Before you decide to recycle your old TV, if it is still working, you may be able to sell it or donate it instead.

It's always better for the environment to reuse anything that is still working rather than disposing of it, and you may be able to help someone else out or even make a little money for yourself.

Sell it Online

If you're looking to get rid of an old CRT TV, you may be wondering if it's possible to sell it online. The good news is that there are a number of places where you can list your TV for sale.

Popular options include classified websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, auction sites like eBay, and electronics forums.

When creating your listing, be sure to include clear photos of the TV as well as a detailed description of its condition. You should also mention any included accessories, such as a remote control or power cord.

With a little effort, you should be able to find a buyer for your old TV without too much trouble.

Garage or Yard Sale

If you have a CRT TV that you're looking to get rid of, you may be wondering if you can sell it at a garage or yard sale.

The answer is yes, you can sell an old CRT TV in this way. However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, CRT TVs are heavy and bulky to carry, and buyers may be concerned about how long they will last. So for obvious reasons, they may not be as popular as newer flat-screen TVs.

As a result, you may have to sell your CRT TV for less than you would like. Nevertheless, if you're patient and realistic with your pricing, you should be able to find a buyer for your old TV.

Specialist Shops

Another option is to find a local hobby shop, video game store, or retro gear store.

Some classic retro gaming consoles need a TV with an old aerial socket to connect to, so your old TV could actually be very much in demand.

Give it Away

If you have an old CRT TV that you're looking to get rid of, you may be wondering if you can donate it to charity. The answer is that it depends on the charity and the condition of the TV.

Some charities may accept CRT TVs in good working condition, while others may only accept newer models. To find out for sure, you'll need to contact the charity directly and ask about their policy on TV donations.

The best places to contact would be your local Goodwill or the Salvation army.

If they do accept CRT TVs, they will likely have someone come to pick your old TV up from your home.

Another option is to ask local schools whether they would be interested in a TV donation. School budgets are stretched these days and your old television could be a great help in the classroom.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it So Hard to Recycle CRT Televisions?

CRT TVs are made up of three parts: the screen, the electronics, and the glass.

The screen is made of leaded glass, which is one reason why it’s so heavy. The electronics contain a variety of metals, including lead, cadmium, and mercury. But the main issue is that CRT glass is full of lead. That’s why recycling a CRT TV is so difficult, and why proper disposal is so essential.

The glass is crushed and separated from the other materials. The leaded glass is then sent to a smelter, where the lead is extracted. However, this process also releases toxins into the air.

The metals are then sorted and sold to metal recyclers.

Can I Recycle Old Computer Monitors?

Yes, for the most part, it is possible to recycle computer monitors in the same way as you would an old TV. They're certainly much harder to sell or donate because modern computers won't work with old-style CRT monitors.

But most electronic recycling centers or TV disposal services will accept your monitors as well.

The Final Word

Now that you know how to donate or recycle a CRT TV, it's time to take action!

Don't let your old television sit in a closet or garage collecting dust; donate or recycle it today and make sure it gets reused or recycled responsibly.

There are plenty of ways in which you can use the extra space! Try a new piece of sustainable furniture to brighten up your home where that clunky old TV used to sit.

And to make more space, why not try out some other tips for decluttering your living room.

Have any other questions about donating or recycling electronics? Drop us a message and we'll be happy to help.

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Arabella Ruiz is a senior researcher at The Roundup. She lives in San Antonio, Texas and has been interested in the environment from an early age. Arabella loves to campaign for environmental causes and fundraise for charities that aim to preserve wildlife habitat, protect endangered species or help people with climate change problems.
Arabella Ruiz
Arabella Ruiz is a senior researcher at The Roundup. She lives in San Antonio, Texas and has been interested in the environment from an early age. Arabella loves to campaign for environmental causes and fundraise for charities that aim to preserve wildlife habitat, protect endangered species or help people with climate change problems.

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