Yesterday, the deadline for the switch from analog to digital was extended from Feb. 17 to June 12, giving Americans additional time to prepare for the transfer.
Many households will have made the decision to keep or subscribe to a cable or satellite service. Your television signal should not be affected by the transition.
It is for those that are still using rabbit ears and their rooftop antennas that have cause for concern. Perhaps you have But, for those looking for a place to discard the old television, look well before you just drop it off somewhere. A landfill is no place for outdated electronics but there are relatively few places to recycle old televisions.
First of all, ask friends and family if they would like the old set. If that doesn’t pan out, ask your local thrift stores if they will take them. Know that many are no longer accepting these sets, as without the converter box the store must pay to have them hauled away.
“The only old TVs that we will accept are those that you can hook cable to,” replied Judy Zilliox of Salvation Army in Richmond. “If they’re not cable ready, then we have to just haul them off.”
Having your set “hauled off” is not in your best interest. A television thrown into a landfill is hazardous waste, because it contains non-decomposing plastics as well as dangerous toxins, such as mercury and lead that can contaminate soil and drinking water. Earth911.com indicated, “While e-waste recycling only accounts for two percent of the U.S.’ garbage in landfills, it accounts for 70 percent of overall toxic garbage.”
“The fact that these items are being reused is far more important than any monetary benefits of recovering these valuable materials. However, e-waste recyclers are also recycling and reusing materials that aren’t nearly as valuable.” (Earth911.com)
Ensure that the outdated item, whether it is a television, computer monitor or any electronic item, is properly discarded. Known as e-waste recycling, reputable recyclers operate under strict environmental controls and high-worker safety protections, according to Earth911.com.
Best Buy – starting Feb. 15, consumers can bring up to two televisions per day, per household, for recycling at any U.S. Best Buy store which will also accept most consumer electronics, including televisions and monitors up to 32 inches. For more information visit: www.bestbuy.com.
Electronic Disposal Technologies, Inc., 1525 W. 9th St., Kansas City, Mo., 64101. They are in the process of moving into this facility from a smaller building. They are not accepting televisions for now, but expect to resume this summer. Call 816-210-3015 for more information.
Forerunner Recycling, 8240 E. Bannister Rd., Kansas City, Mo., 64138 or call 816-807-5454.
Office Depot (small televisions only) – visit www.officedepot.com, and click on Our Services and Tech Recycling.
The Surplus Exchange, 518 Santa Fe, Kansas City, Mo., 64105 or call 816-472-0444 for more information.
When The Daily News contacted The Surplus Exchange, we were told it costs .35 per pound for each television brought in. The individual said that offsets costs so that nothing goes to the landfill. That person also stated they were the “only place BAN (Basel Action Network) certified so that it doesn’t wind up in the landfill.
The EPA is encouraging electronics retailers and TV manufacturers to “help support TV recycling opportunities by issuing a National TV Recycling Challenge to stimulate innovation and partnerships to increase TV recycling in 2009 and beyond.” The challenge period extends from Jan. 1, to Aug. 31, 2009.
For additional information on e-waste and recycling efforts, please see e-cycleMissouri, Plug-In To ECycling, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.epaeaste.gov and www.RecycleSpot.org.