TV Trash a Concern for North Texas Cities

Cities urge proper disposal as Digital TV Switch Approaches

The New Year means new TV's for Nolan and Diane Watts.  The Ft. Worth couple is getting rid of their old sets before all of the nation's TV stations switch to a digital signal in February.

"The old style TV really didn't suit us anymore, and we'd need a converter come February so there really wasn't any need to keep it anymore", Mr. Watts said.

As more families opt to toss their old TV's instead of buying the converter boxes they will need to receive the new digital signal, cities worry about the waste created when those televisions end up in landfills. 

 "They have a lot of components in them that are made out of potentially toxic materials if they're released into the environment improperly", according to Kim Mote with the City of Ft. Worth's Environmental Services Division.

Hazardous materials like lead and mercury don't necessarily pose a threat when they're enclosed inside the TV, but if the set is crushed in a landfill those compounds can be released.

That's why the City of Ft. Worth has teamed up with Goodwill Industries, offering drop-off sites where people can re-cycle their old electronics. 

Goodwill re-sells TV's in good working condition and sends the rest off to another company that disposes of them in an environmentally friendly way.  

The Ft. Worth drop off locations are only open to residents of the city, but Goodwill offers additional locations across the DFW area.

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