Don't throw your old TV out—do this instead

There are much better options than just leaving it on the curb

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It'll be Earth Day this weekend, and—while you should be mindful of our big blue marble every day—it's still the perfect time to do a little homework and figure out how to dispose of your old TV properly.

Whether you've recently replaced your old LED TV with a newer set or have just had a boxy CRT gathering dust in your basement for years, there are much better ways to recycle or pass on these complex devices that have brought you hours of comfort and joy than dumping them unceremoniously on the sidewalk. You monster.

Here are some options to consider before (or, hopefully, entirely in lieu of) simply throwing your old TV in the trash or on the curb.

Donate it

recycle-TV-Goodwill
Credit: Goodwill
Most charitable organizations like Goodwill or Salvation Army will accept TV donations, though you should call ahead to check if your TV is particularly huge.

I save CRTs (tube TVs) from sidewalks all the time, and I've never once brought one home or to Reviewed's office and found that it didn't work. It's a little baffling that someone would take a perfectly functional TV and just toss it out, but it happens.

If you've got old TVs sitting around that still work, consider donating them instead. Try calling up your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or even a school or public library, and see if they're in need of a TV. We've donated 65-inch 4K HDR TVs to the Goodwill around the corner, so I know it can be done. Try just Googling "donate electronics."

You might also consider calling your local hobby shop or video game store—some older games are still played exclusively on CRTs, and the gamers are always looking for working sets.

While this might be a bit more work—depending on how big your TV is—it's a much better solution than just throwing it out. Not only are you avoiding contributing to all the electronic garbage populating the ecosystem, but you're allowing the item to continue serving a purpose for someone who needs it. It's win-win.

Recycle it

recycle-TV-BestBuy
Credit: Best Buy

If you can't pay your old TV forward, recycling it is the next best thing. Most states and districts have e-waste services that will allow you to recycle your old TV, and finding them is pretty easy.

Check out a site like http://www.eiae.org, where you can select your state and find a list of recycling centers by town/district/zip code, as well as whether they accept items like TVs and computer monitors.

If you've got a local Best Buy or Walmart, many of those retailers also offer a haul-away service, though you may have to pay a bit to dispose of the product properly. Best Buy in particular accepts CRTs under 32 inches and flatscreen LED TVs under 50 inches—for a $25 fee, unfortunately.

BB also offers a haul-away service (when you replace your old TV with a new one) for $14.99, which is great, assuming you need to buy a new TV that is. It's a lot pricier to get your TV picked up when you aren't replacing it—$100—but it can be done.

Have a yard/garage sale

If you live in an urban or sub-urban type of neighborhood and you're looking to get rid of some stuff anyway, why not have a yard sale or garage sale? Especially if you've still got a functional TV—especially a newer LED TV as opposed to a CRT—there's a huge chance someone will grab it up, and they might even be willing to pay a few bucks, too.

The only caveat here is you might need to prove the TV works. You can just plug the TV into an extension cord outside, if need be. Unless it's raining or snowing, most TVs are fine to operate outside for a few hours. You might also want to try to track down the remote control and pop some working batteries into it—you're much more likely to sell the TV this way.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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