Upgrading computer monitors is one of the easiest ways to improve to your computer setup. This is especially true if you’re replacing one of the old CRT monitors. Unfortunately, new computer equipment also creates a dilemma. What to do with the old equipment? Or, in this case, how do you recycle computer monitors?
The most important thing to know about recycling computer monitors is don’t throw it away! Many consumers are confused about where to recycle their computer monitors. Although deciding how to dispose of old monitors can be a bit challenging, it’s not that hard once you know your options.
There are several options for recycling old computer monitors:
- Take it to a electronics recycling center
- Drop it off at an ewaste collection drive
- Return through an in-store recycling program
- Give the equipment new life by donating used computer monitors to charity
Electronics recycling centers are much more common than they were just a few years ago. The chemicals that are found in computer monitors, like lead, mercury, and arsenic, are extremely dangerous and can only be disposed of at specific recycling centers trained to handle e-waste. Some of these recycling centers will pay you to give them your old electronics, others will charge a fee. So, it’s best to call ahead before carting your computer monitor off to an electronics recycling center.
Another option is to find an ewaste collection drive. Many cities now have municipal recycling programs that collect e-waste on a regular schedule. Computer monitors fall into the e-waste category because of the toxins mentioned above. You can usually call your local council person or curbside recycling company for information. The good thing about this option is that it is usually free to recycle old computer monitors at an e-waste drive.
Some models of computer monitors can be recycled through in-store programs that trade-in old tech for a discount on new equipment. One option Best Buy which offers credit towards purchases in exchange for recycling monitors and other electronics. The company will either recycle or refurbish the items that you send them. Other companies such as HP, Apple or Dell will only recycle monitors that they manufacture.
An easy way to make a big impact in your community is to donate your used computer monitor to someone that can use it. Reusing is better for the planet than recycling, and this is one of the easiest things that you can do. Common places to donate monitors to are schools, libraries, youth groups, and senior centers. You may also be able to get a tax break with this method since you are making a charitable contribution. If your monitor is broken, it won’t be eligible for donation, however you may still be able to get credit for recycling it at Goodwill, which runs a job training program that fixes broken computers, printers, and other technology.
Now that you understand the options for recycling computer monitors, there is one thing that bears repeating: it’s important that you recycle your monitor; do not toss it in the trash!
The nasty chemicals that are used to make computer monitors wreak havoc on the ecosystem. In many cases, disposing of computer monitors in a landfill is illegal. This is because the materials commonly found in computer monitors—lead, arsenic, and mercury—are all extremely toxic.
When you’re ready to recycle your old computer monitors, call around. Companies are making it very attractive for consumers to recycle and do the right thing!