Digital Transition: Agency Urges TV Recycling

On Sept. 8, Wilmington, N.C., was the first city in the nation to switch to digital-only broadcasting. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency encouraged Wilmington residents and other U.S. residents who own an analog TV set and who receive free broadcasts (via rabbit ears or a roof-top antenna) to extend the life of their television by connecting it to a digital converter box. Energy Star-qualified digital converter boxes are available for purchase.

For consumers who choose to buy a new TV, EPA recommends purchasing Energy Star-qualified sets.

The agency also encourages consumers to recycle their unwanted TVs. Last year Americans disposed of more than 20 million TVs, representing a lost opportunity to conserve natural resources such as copper and iron. Consumers interested in recycling their old TVs can contact their local household hazardous waste collection and recycling program to find out whether they will be sponsoring an upcoming recycling event.

EPA is working through its Plug-In To eCycling program to promote the environmental benefits of recycling and provide the public with information on safely reusing and recycling obsolete electronics products, including computers, cell phones, and televisions. Plug-In To eCycling is a partnership between EPA and electronic manufacturers and retailers to offer consumers more opportunities to donate or recycle -- ecycle -- their used electronics.

For more information on where to recycle a TV, visit

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