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Make Way for New Digital TVs by Recycling the Old

December 26, 2008 08:29 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The switch from analog to digital television means that a lot of old TVs are headed toward obsolescence. Here’s what to do with yours.

Landfill Windfall?

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The federally mandated changeover to digital television broadcasts in February 2009 means that a lot of old cathode-ray tube (CRT) display TV sets will be headed to the landfill, as people replace them with new digital TVs—usually flat-panel LCD and plasma screens.

According to the EPA, in 2006 and 2007 only 18 percent of television sets were recycled. The ones that do get recycled often end up in developing countries where CRT sales are still strong. Factories take the old sets and rebuild them into new ones, according to Robin Ingenthron of American Retroworks in Vermont.

While TVs and other electronic garbage make up only a tiny 2 percent of the total amount of American garbage, the lead content in CRTs makes it particularly important that they get disposed of properly.

Background: The changeover

Are you prepared for the federally mandated shutdown of analog broadcasting that is set to occur on Feb. 17, 2009?

Eighty-seven percent of TV-watching households in the United States already get their programming through cable or satellite, reports Popular Mechanics, and will not need to take any action to receive the new signals.

Digital television is supposed to offer viewers clearer pictures, better sound quality and more programming options than analog. Those who still rely on their analog TVs will have to buy a converter box to be able to see the new digital signals.

Related Topic: Prisons concerned about digital TV switchover

Reference: How to recycle your old TV

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