The Right Way To Get Rid Of An Old TV That's Taking Up Space In Your Home

We might wonder when we finally throw out big-ticket items — a broken sofa, a cracked mirror, or a boxy, outdated television — if we'd send these items to a landfill if the landfill was our own backyard. Many of us have concerns about the environmental impact of the objects we discard and how the chemicals they contain affect the groundwater. When it comes to disposing of big-ticket items, the short answer is to pause for a moment. Ask yourself if the item can be recycled for its components, repurposed, or sold if it's in working order — these are all solid recommendations for the right way to get rid of an old TV.

The UN Environment Programme notes that e-waste, or electronic waste, accounts for 50 million tons of waste per year. The components much e-waste contains (like glass and copper wiring) are valuable and can be reused for new electronics, and the chemicals and gases inside TVs are toxic to the Earth, like lead and mercury. A good question to ask yourself is whether you should repair or replace that appliance, and, sometimes, it's clearly time to move on.

How to get rid of that old TV properly

Before you make your next move, determine if your TV still works or whether you're replacing it because it's an old-school, heavy box. Maybe your home is contemporary, but your TV has an '80s vibe. Then it's a perfect donation item for a charity, nursing home, or local community center, and you might be able to write it off on your taxes. If it still works but is more up-to-date, sell it on Facebook Marketplace or eBay or have a garage sale — keep the sale local to avoid expensive shipping costs.

Research to see if there's an e-waste recycling center within a reasonable distance of your home. If not, Best Buy accepts appliances, old phones, wires, and your ex-TV, whether you purchased these items there or not — they charge a small fee to recycle TVs and computer monitors. If it's a long drive to get there, gather every recyclable electronic item possible and make it a road trip adventure. Another option is to call the manufacturer (or, more likely, email or chat with a robot) and ask if they'll accept their TV for recycling and repurposing.