Old TVs Create Big Trash Problems. Boise Offers Help.
Flat screens are everywhere now, and while they look great at our favorite bars and restaurants and on the walls at home, they've created some serious issues for city trash collections. The old boxy TV sets that have been replaced by flat screens can't just be junked, because they're toxic. This is what Boise is doing about it.
Old TV sets are full of things like lead, mercury, and cadmium, and none of those things play nicely with the environment. A heavy old TV like the one that sat at my Grandma's house for about fifty years had a wooden frame around the console, and a cathode ray tube inside that apparently contained about 6 pounds of lead. Who knew! The lead can be melted down and made into new tubes, but it's cost prohibitive.
NBC News ran an article recently that said there are more than a billion pounds of lead lurking about in basements across the country because of those old TVs. New technology is great, but it creates tons of old e-waste, and recycling it all seems to be the best thing to do. And then we don't have to look at those old eyesores anymore.
Best Buy has recycled more than 1 billion pounds of electronic equipment since it started its e-waste program in 2009. There's a $25 fee now to recycle old TVs, but you can still recycle cell phones there for free.
The City of Boise offers the Curb It program with 15 different mobile collection sites. They'll accept two TVs that are 27 inches of smaller, and if you've got an enormous one in a wooden cabinet like my Grandma Dorothy, you can take that to the Ada County Landfill, Monday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. You'll have to unload it yourself, and they'll direct you to the right spot once you get there.
If you're going to drop off your own old, out-dated, clunky TV, it's probably a good idea to call Grandma too, and see if she'd like you to pick hers up on the way. Good news that she can still get those old game shows on the new TVs too.