Old TV disposal

Upgrading to a shinier, sleeker new television is one of life’s indulgent little joys, but it doesn’t happen all that often – which means that you’re probably not getting rid of old TVs regularly. So how best to recycle or dispose of your old TV set?

When should I replace my old TV?

Many of us will replace our old TVs as a ‘need’ rather than a ‘want’ – with amazing new technology being discovered all the time, we often go for an upgrade rather than replacing a broken TV set. In this case, proper disposal of the old TV is more important than ever to reduce the amount of unnecessary waste being created – and there are plenty of options.

But if you’re concerned your TV has reached the end of its life, how do you know when it’s time to replace your old set?

Of course, if your screen is completely broken, it’s time to say goodbye – mostly because it’s usually far cheaper to replace a screen than it is to buy a new TV. But there are other signs you might be due a new set: dead pixels (a small black or green dot in the picture), which can be expensive to fix; colour distortion, which is a sure sign that your TV has a problem; line patterns appearing across the screen; faded or fuzzy picture; and what’s known as screen burn, where a previous image appears ‘burned’ into your TV set.

While some of these issues can be fixed, they can be expensive – it depends how much you can live with the issues being caused by the problem, and (of course) whether or not the problem is a sign of a more dangerous issue. For example, lines and bars showing up on the screen can indicate a connector is loose somewhere either externally or inside the TV set – this could be a fire hazard, and is definitely a sign it’s time to replace your TV.

What should I do with my old TV?

You have two main options when it comes to getting rid of old TVs: reusing, or recycling.

Both stop your old TV set from going to landfill, and there are plenty of options for both – some of which could earn you a few quid, make someone else’s day, or support a charity.

Reusing your old TV set

Smart waste disposal centres around reducing, reusing, and recycling. It makes sense, then, that your first port of call when getting rid of your old TV is to reuse it. If you’re wondering what to do with an old TV that still works, the most environmentally friendly (and sometimes wallet friendly) option is to find a new owner for your old TV.

Can I sell my old TV?

Local social media groups offer a perfect opportunity for you to make a few pounds by selling your old TV, and often means you’ll give someone the chance to get a working TV for much cheaper – a good deal for your wallet and the environment.

There are also selling sites such as eBay, Gumtree, and Facebook Marketplace where you can list your old TV for sale and earn a few pounds in the process. Beware of unscrupulous buyers and always insist on payment before you hand over your old TV – while selling sites make it a breeze to find a new home for your unwanted items, it’s important to remember you’re dealing with complete strangers and act accordingly.

Take good quality photos in decent light; write an accurate listing (including an honest assessment of the item’s condition – while a few scratches here and there won’t phase most second-hand buyers, not mentioning any faults or a missing remote control will definitely result in demands for a refund); and set a realistic price – you may have paid £400 for it when it waqs new, but second hand electricals don’t tend to sell for megabucks. Take a look at what price others are putting on similar items as a good rule of thumb.

Could I give my old TV away to someone else?

Do you have a family member who could use your old TV – an elderly relative, perhaps, or a child who’d love their own?

This makes a great first port of call for reusing your old television.

If you’d like to get rid of your old TV quickly to make room for the new one, listing for free on local social media sites or websites such as Freecycle usually get a speedy response from eagle-eyed bargain hunters.

Passing it on will get rid of your old TV set without creating unnecessary waste – and you could make someone’s day, too.

Can I donate my old TV to charity?

You could certainly consider donating to a charity – some charities, like British Heart Foundation, have larger stores where they sell larger items such as electricals, or you could speak to local charities which help set people in difficult circumstances up in new homes. This website includes a tool to help you locate a local or national charity where your old, working TV could make a real difference.

There are electricals-specific charities who will help recycle your old TV, too: WEEE Charity is a great example, an organisation which recycles electrical waste responsible and refurbishes them for future use if possible. Search for electrical waste charities in your area for a great way to ensure your old TV is disposed of properly or reused where possible.

Many charities will organise collections if booked in advance, so you needn’t worry about transport – otherwise, they have drop off points where you can leave your old TV for donation.

Recycling your old TV set

If you can’t reuse your TV, or you want to dispose of a broken TV, then recycling is your next best option.

Can I part-exchange my old TV?

A number of TV manufacturers and retailers have recycling schemes for old TV sets, allowing you to trade in your old TV and receive a discount on your new one: Samsung, for example, will accept any 32” or larger television via certain retailers. While you don’t receive any cash for them, both Currys PC World and AO run in-store recycling schemes, allowing you to drop your old TV into the store at dedicated recycling points. Your old TV set is then recycled in line with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment directive, an environmental initiative designed to ensure electrical goods are recycled correctly, rather than being sent directly to landfill sites.

If I can’t recycle my old TV at a specific recycling scheme, what else can I do?

If you don’t need to want to take your old TV to a retailer (or there isn’t a store near you), there are still ways to recycle your old TV – you can recycle these and larger items at Household Waste Recycling Centres.

Not all recycling centres accept electricals, so it’s important to check your local authority website for specific guidance before you turn up, or use this handy locator tool to find your nearest electrical recycling point.

Will the council collect my old TV?

If you can’t get to the tip – for example, if you don’t have a car, work unusual hours or have mobility issues – and have exhausted all other options, you still have options for disposing of your old TV.

In some areas, the local authorities will collect small electrical items as part of their kerbside collection – so you can leave them by your bin during your normal collection. It’s best to check on your local authority website or give them a call – use this link to find a web address or phone number – to find out if this is the case in your area. If so, you’ll be able to leave your old TV with your non-recyclable waste on bin collection day and it’ll be taken away and dealt with.