Every city has a recycling center where one can drop off discarded computers, out-of-date software, and other electronic devices for proper disposal. At the recycling center you can find – a mountain of old computer monitors, TVs, and CPUs.
There are other options for the environmentally conscious individual who wants to properly dispose of an old computer monitor.
If you decide to recycle your old monitor at a local recycling center, remember not to mix it in with your regular trash as this could cause serious injury or illness to those unloading the truck if they come into contact with lead or mercury. Contact your city's sanitation department for more information about safe disposal.
Monitor disposal is not recommended as hazardous materials such as glass and circuit boards can be very dangerous when not disposed of correctly and can be harmful to the environment. It may seem like common sense but many people forget that all that equipment we discard contains toxic metals such as lead and mercury. If these toxins are allowed to leach into the groundwater, they can contaminate soil and then enter into our food chain or drinking supply.
If you still have an old desktop, you may be wondering how to recycle computer monitors. Many individuals who switch to LCDs or laptops keep old cathode ray TVs in their homes. However, disposing of them is not an option. Old CRT monitors can pose a danger to sanitation workers who unload their trash if the glass is broken, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
There are several options for recycling computers and should be done rather than thrown away in the garbage. The first option would be to simply donate it to someone or an organization that could use it. You may not want the computer anymore but another person or family might. Donated computers are usually sent to developing countries where they are often used by children because of their relatively low cost compared to newer models with faster processing speeds and higher resolution displays.
Another option for recycling old computer monitors is repurposing them into other electronic devices such as televisions, alarm clocks, or even speakers (using an amplifier).
Repurposing Computer Monitors
If you do not want to donate or repurpose the monitor, then recycling it properly is the next option. Many companies have a trade-in program that allows consumers to exchange their old computer equipment for a discount on a new one.
Another option would be selling your monitor online at sites such as Craigslist where you can easily post ads for free and let people know that you are looking to sell your old working monitor from either a desktop or laptop computer. You might not make back what you paid for the computer all those many years ago, but even half of its original worth would be better than sending it to the landfill.
One other solution could be taking it down to a local recycling plant in your area that accepts CRT monitors and televisions. There should be a fee, however, you will still be helping the environment and personal safety of those unloading your trash.
Recycling monitors is not only good for the environment but also, as we have seen, helps to improve safety in our cities. Even if you do not care about civic duty or the improvement of society as a whole, recycling old computer monitors is just another way that we can all come together to leave this world better than we found it.
Selling Computer Monitors
There are ways to make money off of your old monitor before recycling it. You can also consider selling them at an auction site such as eBay, where you will have the chance to attract more potential buyers. With these options, you stand a better chance of getting back most if not all the money spent on your old monitor in the first place, but there is no guarantee that will be enough for some people who still wish they could do more good with their old equipment.
If your display is still operational, you might be able to sell it for a profit. Even CRT displays may be sold for money. The trick is to get the highest price for your old monitor by consulting reputable sites. Fortunately, some websites can assist you in determining what to charge for a used computer or laptop screen.
Of course, you could also sell your monitor to a computer parts company. Many companies will buy used parts from individuals to refurbish their products, which are then sold at lower prices. However, this is likely only an option if your monitor still works since there would be no point in buying it if it was not functional.
Recycling Computer Monitors
The final and best option for recycling old computer monitors is to take them down to a local recycling plant in your area. There should be a fee, however, you will still be helping the environment and personal safety of those unloading your trash. It would help everyone who lives within a 200-mile radius since CRT monitors contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, cadmium, barium, and sulfide glass. Companies who buy CRTs from individuals usually have an extra cost associated with disposing of these items properly which means that if you don't want to pay the legal fees involved in removing this equipment yourself then tagging along to a recycling center might not be a bad idea.
As with most recycling, some electronics recycling companies will turn a profit from your old monitor. This is usually a long process that involves dismantling the unit and then carefully separating all of its parts. Many materials are recycled, including metals, glass, plastic, and various fibers used in its construction. The polycarbonate case can be recycled as well but not all plants have the ability to do so yet.
If you want to dispose of your old computer monitor properly without having it haunt your basement for years beyond their useful life then recycling is certainly the best option available. Just be sure that you are disposing of an actual CRT display since many other pieces of technology use this same style for screens which means they may contain different kinds of materials that would be treated differently.