Removing old electronics (e-waste) is one of the top junk removal requests that we get at Junk King North Shore. One of the top reasons for that is more states around the country are passing restrictions on electronic waste going in the regular, municipal trash.
This is only the tip of the iceberg, however, when it comes to finding reasons to recycle electronic waste like old televisions. There were approximately 40 million new televisions sold last year in the United States, which means old televisions need to be hauled away by Junk King North Shore, reused, or responsibly recycled.
Two Big Reasons to Recycle Televisions
It is crucial to go with an eco-friendly disposal or recycling method for two main reasons. Reason number one is that televisions, especially cathode ray tube (CRT) televisions can contain toxic substances like lead glass, cadmium, phosphorus, and mercury. These heavy metals can gradually decay in landfills or get burned in incinerators, thereby posing hazards for the environment and human health.
The second reason to go with eco-friendly disposal or consider recycling your old television is that your old television is probably, literally, made of gold. Televisions usually contain precious and semi-precious metals like gold and palladium, which can be reused in other products to prevent new mining. Letting these semi-/precious metals rot in landfills or burning them in an incinerator is not the best option!
The scale of the Problem and Solution
Realizing the benefits to recycling electronic waste that contains these semi-/precious metals, 25 states plus the District of Columbia currently have some kind of restrictions when it comes to e-waste disposal. The Environmental Protection Agency has moved to make recycling e-waste easier. That’s good news because more Americans than ever own gadgets and gizmos that need to be responsibly recycled by junk haul services like Junk King North Shore.
The average American is said to own 24 electronic devices, according to the National Conference of States Legislatures. Annual electronics sales – meaning the amount every single year! – is over $200 billion in the United States alone. These numbers represent a big increase over a generation ago, and they highlight the importance of appropriate e-waste management once these devices reach the end of their useful life.
To give you a feel for the numbers, consider that 2.4 million tons of electronics were disposed of in 2009 in the United States. That is over a 100 percent increase from 1999. But where do things stand today? It is reported that the United States generated nearly 7 million tons (6.92) of electronic waste in 2019. That comes to 46 pounds of electronic waste per person! The sad part is that only about 15 percent of that e-waste was recycled, so potentially 85 percent found its way to landfills.
One way to turn the tide on these numbers is using Junk King’s full-service junk removal to responsibly dispose of e-waste. At Junk King North Shore, we separate similar items – such as electronic waste – in the ‘big red’ trucks so that they can be easily processed downstream. Sometimes the best option is to repurpose or donate old televisions, but other times recycling an old television is the way to go.
Recycling Your Old Television
If your old television gets recycled, then it will be taken apart by hand and the individual components will be separated. Certain parts need to be worked around before the recycling can begin. For instance, the cadmium, phosphorous, and layers of lead glass need to be separated before recycling can begin. Television screens may also contain LCD lights and tubes filled with mercury, which need to be safely removed before the recycling process really gets underway.
Once all of that is handled, however, your old televisions components can be separated out and perhaps sold on a commodities market or repurposed into making new televisions and other electronics. For instance, the plastics and woods in your television can sometimes be salvaged, and semi-precious metals like copper can find new industrial applications.
What about the precious metals discussed above? These are typically found in your old televisions – or computer’s/laptop’s – circuit board. A specialty recycler will usually receive circuit boards because they are really good at separating precious metals in an eco-friendly manner. Newer flat-screen televisions – e.g., liquid crystal display (LCD) – contain recyclable plastics which are easy to handle.
Junk King North Shore accepts a variety of new televisions, including plasma screens, LCD, LED, and a variety of flat screens. Plasma screens are important to recycle because they contain the precious metals mentioned above, but also some harmful metals and hazardous materials such as mercury, phosphor, cadmium, chromium, lead, and barium. Yikes! Eco-friendly disposal is definitely a nice option to keep in your back pocket.
What about LCD and LED televisions? This is a good news, bad news situation – mostly good news. While plasma screens were most popular about 15 years ago, in the last few years sales of LCD and LED televisions have been skyrocketing partly due to materials and manufacturing costs going way down. This is good news because more recycled materials have gone into manufacturing LCD and LED televisions, and there’s a commensurate reduction in energy consumption to make these televisions.
The bad news, in a sense, is that more of these televisions are being sold and eventually disposed of – because these products are so affordable now. You see these kinds of televisions in homes, offices, and other workplaces like hospitals all the time. If these televisions were responsibly recycled at higher rates, then the issue of disposal wouldn’t be that bad, but more of these televisions are winding up in landfills. Remember that only about 15 percent of electronic waste was recycled in 2019.
Eco-friendly Junk Removal
We’re a full-service junk removal company at Junk King, which means we’ll handle all the heavy lifting and transportation. We work with local vendors, recyclers, and charities to give most electronics a second (or third) life. Whether you’re a business owner or homeowner, Junk King can help you responsibly dispose of electronic waste. Why wait any longer? Contact us at Junk King and lock in a date and time today!