With the February 17 digital TV deadline fast approaching, many of you are probably planning the haul of your dinosaur boob tube out to the curb for the Sunset Scavengers. But as any enviro-conscious San Franciscan knows, you're never quite throwing anything "away." Unfortunately the mass amount of analog TVs that will hit the trash dumps in the coming weeks contain toxic chemicals like lead, cadmium, and beryllium that will seep into the groundwater and plastic that will never biodegrade.
But apparently just because your're a lazy, TV-watching, potato chip-scarfing pig, doesn't mean you have to make the world a pig sty as well.
Enter the Take Back My TV campaign (website here). The Electronics TakeBack Coalition has been lobbying TV manufacturers to take back and recycle their chemical-leaching TVs. So far, Samsung, Sony, and LG have nationwide programs to take back their TVs for free.
Panasonic, Sharp, and Toshiba started a take-back program in January in California, but the closest collection site is in Menlo Park (see the map here for the location). Also, it warrants mentioning that one can obtain a converter box to convert digital signas to analog -- and then you won't have toss your TV at all. For a free $40 coupon from the government toward a converter, visit this Web site.
Another good bet for all brands is to take them to an e-recycler. According to the Web site, many recyclers merely export the TVs to developping countries so it can poison the ground water elsewhere. So the site includes a list of recyclers near us who will accept any brand of TV, and have promised not to export and responsibly recycle the waste (for complete list see here, for a list of local spots, click "more").
591 Howard Street, near the corner Howard and 2nd St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Free parking available
NEW LOCATION: 801 Mahler Road, Suite I (Just north of Hyatt Regency Hotel)
Burlingame, CA 94010
For business pickup: 1-877-918-8900 x 707