Help File: Recycling Old Electronics
QI've got an old analog TV collecting dust at home. How can I recycle or safely dispose of it?
ATh e environmental hazards of old television sets and other consumer-electronics detritus -- for instance, lead in a TV's cathode-ray tube and mercury in a flat-panel screen -- haven't grown less serious. But your choices for minimizing those risks have improved since I wrote about them last summer.
First, you can try to sell or donate the old set. Several readers have said they've found a home for an old TV through the Freecycle site (http:/
If that doesn't work, most cities and counties allow residents to drop off old electronics for safe disposal. But drop-off events may not happen every week and may require a trek to a distant trash-transfer station; check your local government's Web site or call its recycling office for details.
Most of those programs charge a small fee, $10 to $20 a set, to cover the cost of breaking down a TV safely. But you may be able to lower your cost if you use a store or manufacturer's recycling program. Best Buy (http:/
Some manufacturers will take back their old products free at designated sites, with items from other vendors accepted for a small fee. Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba (http:/
For an independent evaluation of recycling efforts, see the grades posted by the Electronics TakeBack Coalition (http:/
Rob Pegoraro attempts to untangle computing conundrums and errant electronics each week. Send questions to The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or email@example.com. Visit http:/