Most modern TVs have a life span of about 10 years, meaning you’ll have to replace your tube about once every decade. When it’s time for an upgrade, some people keep their old sets and move them to a spare bedroom or another room inside the home, like the basement or garage. But if you no longer have a need for an older TV, figuring out what to do with it can be challenging, especially since it’s dangerous to throw a TV in the trash. They’re filled with toxic materials, which can leak and seep into the water supply and harm the environment.
If you need to ditch a television set, here are a few safe alternatives.
1. Give it away.
Not to say you should pester your friends and family in an effort to get rid of an older TV, but you can put the word out to see if anyone’s interested in taking it off your hands. If you use social media, post a status update stating that you’re giving away a TV and ask interested persons to inbox you for details. Include a photo of the TV. Chances are, you’ll find at least one person in need of an extra television.
2. Donate the television.
Another option is to donate the television to your favorite charity. Keep in mind that some organizations are picky with regard to the televisions they accept. Some will only accept televisions of a certain size, whereas other charities may only accept flatscreen televisions and refuse older box TVs.
Call up different organizations to see if they have a need for electronics. If so, drop off the TV at a nearby donation center, or schedule a pickup from your home. One benefit of donating a television is that you’re able to write off the donation on your tax return. This can lower your taxable income, reducing how much you owe in income taxes or resulting in a bigger tax refund.
3. Ask your city about e-cycling programs.
To discourage residents from throwing TVs and other electronic devices in the trash, some cities host e-cycling events. This is when residents can drop off their electronics (including TV sets) at a designated center. These events are sporadic and held at different times, depending on where you live. Some cities host these events monthly, whereas others host these events only a few times a year or quarterly.
Contact your local city government for information on their next event and then drop off your TV or any other electronic you’re looking to get rid of. This might be a free event, or you might have to pay a small fee per item.
4. Sell it.
If you have an older TV that’s still in good condition, see if you can sell it for a little cash. Post ads on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace or Letgo. Any money received for the item can go toward the purchase of your new TV. As a word of caution, be careful when selling items to strangers. If you find an interested party, don’t invite this person to your home. Schedule your meetup in a public place in view of others.
Getting rid of an older TV can be challenging, especially if a donation center won’t take your item and you can’t find someone to give it to. Throwing the television set in the trash might seem like an innocent move, but your city might forbid disposing of TVs in the garbage. If so, you’ll have to keep the set in your possession and wait until your city has an e-cycling event.