TV recycling

TV Recycling: How Does It Work?

At one point or another, you’ll have to change that television set that you’ve been using. Regardless of whether you’re upgrading to a bigger and better TV or you’re just replacing your faulty TV, there comes a time when you must dispose of your television.

Depending on your preferences, you can dump the TV in the garbage, where it will most certainly end up in a landfill, or you can recycle it and give it a new form and look.

Old and archaic large-tube TVs, CTR, LCD, LED and even modern flat-screen TVs, contain harmful, toxic chemicals and parts that can harm humans and make the environment unpleasant. This stresses the reason they need to be safely recycled.

If these TVs are left to rot in landfills, their toxic chemicals can leak into the ground and air, thereby tampering with our drinking water and air quality. The good news is that many components that make up a TV are recyclable.

The question remains: how exactly a TV is recycled? Can any TV be recycled? Where is TV recycling done? You’ll find out all about e-waste recycling and many others in this post.

TV Recycling

Even though your TVs may be recyclable, that doesn’t authorize you to throw them in your curbside recycling bin.

It is always advisable to ascertain if your local recycling or waste-management authority accepts electronic waste. This might be in the form of special pickup days, drop-off times, etc.

Although some electronic devices like cell phones, calculators, etc., are typically free to recycle. Recycling your TV will cost you a little. And it is a one-time payment.

A TV houses several valuable materials, but these materials are in small quantities that require significant effort to extract. Considering some TVs’ large size and heavy weight adds expense to their recycling process.

For instance, Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs) require utmost attention when removed from TVs. This is because they contain lead and must be dismantled by hand rather than shredded.


Droppings Off at the Recycling Site

Where can you recycle a TV? You can start by checking with your local sanitation authority. Ask if any nearby drop-off recycling locations accept electronic waste for recycling.

Some recycling sites are selective with the types of materials they accept. So be specific when you ask. When you find a suitable recycling location, ask if they get the type and size of your TV. Also, ask for their charges.

Another essential thing to ask is if there are any designated collection days or recycling periods in which TVs are accepted.

The manufacturer’s guide for your TV might also be helpful. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlights several examples of electronics donation and recycling on its page. Some manufacturers accept old TVs by mail, while others work with external recycling centers or drop-off sites.

LCD / FPD Recycling process

The key to successfully recycling TVs (and other electronic devices) is efficiently sorting the different materials inside the TV so they can be handled individually. This is because TVs are made up of both potentially harmful and valuable materials.

When TVs are dropped at a recycling centre, they’re often examined to see if they can be repaired and reused. This is typically better than dismantling them for recycling. If repairing these TVs is not an option, they’re dismantled to obtain significant components like the screen, plastic shell, and metal frame.

The other parts of the TV may be shredded. Usually, the shredder is coupled with magnets to remove steel and iron from the pieces.

Afterward, other mechanical processes filter out other essential metals, like aluminium, copper, gold, silver, tin, and titanium. In the same way, water-separation technology can be used to separate plastics and glass.

Once all the components are isolated, they can be sold for use in new electronics.

In terms of screen architecture, here are two primary varieties of TVs: traditional Cathode Ray Tube TV screens and the modern Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) flatscreen TV.

TVs with CRT screens will undergo slightly different recycling methods than those with LCD screens.

In TVs with CRT, the Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) are removed and placed in a unique glass processing unit. Afterward, they’re recycled into CRT glass to be reused for other commercial applications.

Meanwhile, LCD flatscreen TVs contain special fluorescent tubes. These tubes are taken out and recycled on their own. The glass can be recycled as well.


What About The Inner Workings Of The TV?

The TV also houses copper cables, aluminum, steel, glass, plastic, and electronics that can be reused. The wires will typically be taken apart, and the circuitry will be disassembled. This is done to gain access to valuable materials like copper.

The circuit boards are often smelted down to obtain the metals inside them. However, as mentioned earlier, this occurs when the TV is faulty beyond repair. If the TV works without hitches but has physical damage, the circuits will likely be saved and reused.

Why Is TV Recycling Still Important?

Recycling is just one of the methods of sustainable disposal. If your old TV sets are still in good working condition but feel like a burden, you can donate them to schools, shelters, and other community organizations.

Ultimately, recycling is still the best way to e-waste dispose of an old television set safely. A significant portion of these TVs packs up before you consider donating or reselling them.

Furthermore, recycling helps to divert recyclable and reusable TV materials into the production process of new TVs. Finally, recycling is a lucrative source of income for recyclers and their teams. Recycling more means bringing them more business.

Whether you intend to recycle a TV with a CRT or LCD screen, you must take them to a particular recycling facility. This is the only way to ensure that the toxic contents of these TVs are safely removed and that the valuable materials are appropriately reused.


According to Plasticexpert, about 98% of a TV can be recycled. This tells us that dumping them in a landfill is a waste of so many suitable materials.

Usually, the only components of a TV that can’t be recycled are those containing harmful chemicals.

Televisions are among the most sought-after electronics on the market. Properly disposing of these TVs when we no longer need them is up to the consumers, as we all have a part to play in establishing a safe, clean, and sustainable environment.