I was reading this article about how thrift stores in the Chicago metro area are being flooded with old televisions that use the cathode tube and analog technology to work. Most are heavy and have to be carefully recycled, so that they don’t damage the environment as waste. New laws generated in 2012, to limit how they are disposed of in IL has caused a problem, though. There is activity to help deal with the problem, but it doesn’t become effective for a few months, or the new laws are pending until the old laws can be changed this spring.
The trouble is the same when dealing with old computer monitors as well. They have used the same technology and are being cast off for the same reasons: desktop real estate (space), and weight as well as lack of high definition.
So what’s a person to do in the meantime? Check your local recycle area for their schedule of days they will accept the old sets, is one bit of advice. Another is to keep them as long as they are working and in good repair.
An excerpt of this article here: A Kane County e-waste recycling event Dec. 12 collected enough old electronics in four hours to fill six 35-foot semitrailers, [Jennifer] Jarland [recycling coordinator for Kane County] said. Televisions made up 60 percent of that haul. Many appeared relatively new and in working condition.
“We’re just being flooded, especially with those giant TVs,” Jarland said. “If they’re still working, keep using them.”
One reason that people are getting rid of even the nicer heavy TV’s, is that too many have toppled over onto infants and toddlers, killing them immediately, or severely injuring them with lifelong impacts. This would make getting rid of a heavy television, even if it’s working and looks new, a necessary goal for anyone who has small children or will have small baby visitors.
The cost of lighter, high definition televisions with all the plugs for gaming, computer feeds as well as cable and sound bar connectivity is becoming more affordable, too. Many consumers are finally digging out of the consequences of the Great Recession, and have the ability to buy what they could only long after before.
I have to admit that I hated having a heavy television, especially as I had to move very often as my fortunes changed after the year 2000. It was a huge relief to buy a lighter plasma television (though it was analog) in 2006. My mother still had her heavy cathode television until she died in 2013. None of her survivors wanted something so bulky and heavy. Thankfully, we found a place that was still recycling them when getting rid of it.
As an older person, moving such a television is not simple, and I’ve generally tried to avoid it or ask strong friends for help when I’ve had to do it. I honestly never wanted to worry about my friends or family hurting themselves over carrying anything heavy for me during a move. If I can’t move it by myself, I will probably get rid of it or avoid buying it altogether.
I can’t see any reason for people to keep the old square cathode televisions, since rectangular wide screen presentations are becoming more common, too. That means trying to see a video on such a TV would have the sides being cut off. Sometimes, you’re missing the face of a person who’s talking, or the main person in the center is talking about something you can’t see off on the side.
I feel bad for the folks who are stuck with these heavy televisions, and feel a bit anxious that I may be reading another sad story about an infant crushed by one.
What do you think about these old televisions?