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How to Recycle an Old Analog Television Set

written by: Jennifer Claerr•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 1/27/2011

Don't throw away that old analog television. Recycle it. You can reuse your analog set by using it watch digital television. If you really don't want it any more, there are plenty of places where you can recycle it.

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    Why You Should Recycle Your Analog Television

    The transition to digital television has spawned a very negative phenomenon. Many people have begun to put their fully functional analog television sets out to the curb for garbage collection. In many cases, people do this because they've just purchased a new digital television to replace their old analog television. Many people don't want to take the time and trouble to dispose of their analog television sets properly. While it may seem difficult to find ways to reuse and recycle your analog television set, it is extremely important for the environment. In some areas, it may be illegal to dispose of your analog television in a landfill. Analog televisions often contain hazardous chemicals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. When disposed of improperly, these chemicals can end up in our bodies.

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    Reuse Your Analog Television Set

    The best way to recycle your analog television set is to reuse it. For example, you can add a digital converter box to your analog TV. Digital converter boxes are convenient and relatively inexpensive. They are also widely available in electronics stores. Contrary to what you may have heard, you don't need a special antenna to receive digital television. The old antenna you were using to receive analog television will probably do fine, even if it's a "rabbit ears" antenna. Attach the antenna to the digital converter box by coaxial cable, then use another coaxial cable to connect the converter box to the analog television. Even if you've replaced your analog television with a digital television, it may still be useful. An analog television with a digital television converter would be very handy in a spare bedroom, a child's room, in an office, kitchen or second living room.

    Also, if you've been longing to sign up for cable or satellite service, this might be a good time to do it. Most cable and satellite television services work without a digital converter box, which will save you time, money and effort. If you already have paid television service, you may be able to add an additional receiver to your service for very little money. Be sure to call the television service provider or visit their website to get pricing information.

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    Recycle Your Analog Television Set

    If you find that you no longer need your working analog television set, there are many people who would be glad to take it off your hands. You could try selling the analog television set on eBay or Craigslist. If that's too much of a hassle, consider giving it away. There's a website called Freecycle where you can recycle things you no longer need. You can also call your local charitable organizations to donate your unwanted analog television set.

    If the analog television isn't in working order, you can still recycle it. Check the Earth911.com website, type "televisions" and enter your zip code in the fields provided to find a list of electronics recycling centers near you. Also check the e-Steward website to find the most environmentally responsible electronics recyclers. Many electronics recyclers charge for recycling, but a quick call to the individual recycling centers can help you to find places that will recycle your non-working television for a discount or for free.

    By using these tips, you can help to reduce the amount of hazardous waste that goes into our landfills and keep the Earth safe for generations to come.

    Darleen Hartley, "Disposing of your analog TV may be hazardous to everyone’s health" http://www.geek.com/articles/consumer/disposing-of-your-analog-tv-may-be-hazardous-to-everyones-health-20090610/