The Revolution Will Be Televised (But Will the Television Be Recycled?)


This post requires me to admit that I sometimes watch television. I could defend it by saying I’m part of the media and therefore must observe the media, or I could just say, “Project Runway. Lost. Buffy reruns. So?”

Either way, the powers that be say I’ll need a new television by February, 2009, when digital broadcasting takes over and old sets like mine will be obsolete. Yours may be too. With possibly millions of Americans disposing of old televisions, recycling them is key, right?

According to the Take Back My TV campaign, only 12% of electronics are recycled because it’s hard to find convenient sites. Of those, some end up being dismantled by workers, sometimes children, in developing countries – by hand, despite the dangers of heavy metals in the machines. In this country, prison labor is sometimes used, or sets are “recycled” into a landfill site. Of major manufacturers, only Sony has thus far created a viable take-back program for their products and signed the Manufacturer’s Commitment to Responsible E-Waste Recycling.

Take Back My TV, an effort of the Electronics Take Back Coalition, is urging other manufacturers to join the effort to improve electronics recycling options; sign on to their campaign. They offer a guide to responsible recyclers and tips for recycling computer equipment and cell phones, too.

Image: antimethod (cole rise)