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How to Recycle Your Old CRT Television in California

Cathode Ray Television (or CRT's) were widely used in the early 2000's but since then have all but been replaced with LCD Televisions. It's likely that you have them lying around in your house unused. Due to mercury contamination, the proper recycling of CRT's is more important than most of electronics. Because of this the state of California has included CRT's in the CEW statewide recycling program. This article will go over what is inside your CRT Television and how you should recycle them.


What are CRT TV's made of?

Older CRT models include various amounts of hazardous materials that are toxic in landfills and other waste streams if no recycled property. Older color and monochrome CRTs may have been manufactured with toxic substances, such as cadmium, in the phosphors. Other toxic wastes include leaded glass, mercury and beryllium. These toxins seep from landfills into water sources if disposed of improperly. Because modern electronic devices use far less toxic materials, it is especially important to recycle CRT with a responsible electronics recycling company

How are CRT TV's recycled?

CRT TV's can only be handled in California by facilities that have been inspected and approved by the Department of Toxic Substances or DTSC. Many approved electronic waste collectors deliver their CRT TV's to proper hazardous recycling facilities for dismantling. Rica Recycling has partnered with E-Recycling of California to handle their CRT TV waste streams. At these facilities, the TVs are dismantled into their raw components and separated into different groups. The hazardous materials are sent off for further treatment, while the non-hazardous materials are shredded and then sorted for further refining. 

Where can I recycle my CRT TV? is a great resource for finding a local recycling center to properly dispose of your electronics waste. Rica Recycling offers a free Drop Off Service at their Hayward facility and provides a Pick Up Service for businesses in the Bay Area. Please recycle your CRT TVs! They are the most common hazardous electronic waste items and the benefit to our environment and fresh water sources would be huge if they are kept out of our landfills. 

E-Waste and the Importance of Electronic Recycling

Society benefits from the increased production of new low cost digital gadgets. This explosive progress of electronics development has made e-waste a growing issue. E-waste is now the fastest growing municipal solid waste stream with over 41.8 million tons generated world wide. Various precious metals and valuable commodities such as copper and aluminum reside in electronic waste and metal recovery from electronics is often more efficient than from the mined ore itself. Yet, only 15-20% of electronics are recycled today. This leads to an accumulation of valuable reusable resources sitting in our landfills. 

What is e-waste?


The term "e-waste" is loosely applied to consumer and business electronic equipment that is near or at the end of its useful life. There is no clear definition for e-waste; but the general rule of thumb is that if the device uses electricity, it's probably electronic waste. This includes, gadgets like stereo, cellphones, televisions and dated laptop equipments that are typically no longer function or end-of-life (EOL). 

Why is electronics recycling essential?

Wealth of Raw Materials

An estimated $22 billion of gold alone may be recovered in e-waste worldwide. This is not including other resources such as silver, copper, aluminum, metals and plastics. 

Hazardous Materials

Electronic waste also contains many hazardous materials such as mercury, lead, chromium and cadmium. Taking your electronics to a certified recycler ensures that these toxic materials do no seep from landfills into water supplies and damage the local ecosystem.

Information Theft

Choosing a certified recycler means your identity will be protected. Certified recyclers facilities ensure that hard drives are either physically destroyed or wiped before being processed further.

Where can you recycle your electronics?

Bring it to a certified electronic recycler. Plenty of nonprofit organizations and local communities offer options to help you recycle old electronics. Rica Recycling offers a free drop-off for individuals and free business pick up services for organizations in the local bay area.