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What To Do With an Old TV

When it comes time to get rid of your old or seldom-used television, you may be left with a few questions. Can you throw it away? Is TV recycling an option? What if it still works? No matter what size or type of television you have, there are several choices for proper and safe disposal. See our list below of some of the best ways to dispose of an old television.


How to Dispose of a TV

TV disposal is rarely a fun event. Televisions are bulky, heavy, awkward, and can’t be tossed with other trash. Because of the delicate nature of the elements in them, as with other electronics, dumping TVs into a landfill is never a good idea! Trash compactors, for one, aren’t equipped to break down electronics as the glass and other parts will shatter, contaminating the rest of the garbage or recycling making it harder to sort at the waste management facilities.

Improper disposal is also bad for the environment. Televisions are made of a mixture of metals, plastics, glass, and sometimes toxic chemicals. Left in a landfill, your old TV will corrode and leach these chemicals — like polyvinyl chloride and brominated flame retardants — into the soil and groundwater. This harms surrounding wildlife and disrupts the balance of precious ecosystems, which in turn comes back to harm people through chemical runoff into streams. In fact, throwing away TVs is even illegal in some places.


TV Recycling & Disposal Options

Depending on the condition of your television and where you live, the best type of TV disposal and what’s available to you will vary. If you have a newer model, you may be able to send it back to the manufacturer. If that’s not an option, or your TV is a little older but still in working condition, then consider selling it or donating it locally. Alternatively, TV recycling may be the way to go. Below is a more detailed breakdown of some of these and other solutions for what to do with an old TV.

Recycle It

One of the most environmentally beneficial options, TV recycling allows the components and materials — inside and out — of your old television to be reused. Metals, plastics, glass, circuit boards, and other elements of the unit can all be recycled for reuse. In fact, almost all of a television can be recycled, with the exception of, for the most part, any elements containing hazardous chemicals. Choosing to recycle prevents these hazardous elements from contaminating landfills while cutting back on the waste of perfectly good and reusable materials.

So what are your options for how to recycle a TV? First off, when we say recycling we don’t mean dumping your old flatscreen into your curbside bin or recycling dumpster. TVs, along with most other electronics and appliances, can’t be recycled with your standard bottles and cans. You’ll have to contact a special recycling or waste management service provider, such as TurboHaul, to take care of the TV recycling process. Best Buy and other electronics stores will also sometimes pick up and recycle TVs, other electronics, and appliances from your space, though this usually comes with a disposal fee.

At TurboHaul, we haul away your old TV (and any other bulk junk you may need removed) directly from your location, whether that’s a home, workplace, storage unit, or anywhere else. We make the TV recycling process easy and convenient. Contact us today and we’ll be onsite within 24 hours.

Donate It

Certain charities or local initiatives often accept electronics like televisions for donation provided they’re still in working condition. Some organizations will have certain stipulations around the size, condition, and age of the televisions they’ll take, while others will be less picky. In most cases, you’ll have to transport the TV to them directly.

Places like Goodwill and Salvation Army accept used TVs which they resell, donating part of the profits to community programs to help people who are poor, disabled, or in need. (Plus, then your old TV can find a new home.) Other options for donation include a public library, community or recreation center, and even a church. Look for specific nonprofits or other organizations in your area to get started. It’s always a good idea to call in advance before dropping something off, to ensure they’ll accept your used television.

Sell It

Another option for what to do with your old TV is to sell it. This is a good choice for making a little money back, especially if you’re already clearing out a bunch of other electronics and goods and planned on having a yard sale or selling things online. As with selling any items, there can be the hassle of listing the items, dealing with potential buyers, not being able to sell the television, and then of safe transportation. For newer models and Smart TVs, sale will generally be easier though still has its challenges.

Send It Back to the Manufacturer

Depending on the age and model of your television, you may be able to send it back to the manufacturer. From there, they’ll refurbish or dispose of the television, though this varies from company to company. Contact your television’s specific manufacturer to see if they’re able to accept the old TV, and to learn about any guidelines they have in place. Note that you’ll likely have to mail it back to them, (unless store drop-off is an option), which can be a cumbersome undertaking.

Utilize a Television Pick-Up & Recycling Service

Lastly, consider using a television pick-up and recycling service. While some recycling initiatives in your area may require you to drop off your used TV for disposal, at TurboHaul we come right to your home and do all the heavy lifting for you. This makes TV recycling easy, convenient, safe, and environmentally responsible while saving you the stress of transportation.


At TurboHaul, we follow a simple four-step process for television and electronics recycling. We offer upfront pricing, guarantee arrival within 24 hours after you contact us, and are committed to bettering our environment and improving our communities through recycling and donation to keep harmful elements out of landfills. Explore more commercial junk removal services and contact us for a free quote today.

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