Recycling old TV sets

Q. Where can I recycle an old TV set? I can take smaller electronic appliances to my local Office Depot, bless them... but they don't handle anything as big as a TV. This is going to be a big problem with the approaching mandatory switch to all-digital TV. No one wants to buy an old-style (non-digital) TV, gently used, and there are going to be lots of them. Suggestions?  - B. Bodenstein, Baltimore, MD

A. You and your fellow Charm Cityites are lucky—Baltimore's Department of Public Works web site lists dropoff sites for electronic recyclables, including TVs.

And not everyone has it quite so easy. Some city governments charge you a fee to have them recycle your electronic appliances. Curbside electronics recycling in Loveland, Colorado, for example, costs between $15 and $10 per item. And some cities and counties have even stopped accepting electronic appliances at municipal recycling centers altogether! So check city and county web sites for updates—some also offer suggestions for alternative disposal options. Washington State's King County, for example, recommends the Take It Back Network, a coalition of government agencies, retailers, repair shops, charitable organizations and recyclers that take TVs and other electronics.

Lastly, some major retailers and manufacturers, including Sony, have begun implementing TV take-back programs as well. Check out for TV-disposal options in any region of the US, as well as for e-waste news updates.

- Anneli Rufus & Kristan Lawson

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