20 May, 2019 / Jenny Lott
If you have a broken TV or monitor taking up space in your garage, you’re not alone. Many of us, for one reason or another, find ourselves burdened with these devices when they meet their end. You can’t sell them, and you can’t put them in the trash—you’ve read about the e-waste problem and don’t want to contribute to it. So, what do you do?
Hopefully, you decide to take it to an electronics recycling facility, where they can extract the raw materials and repurpose them. However, when you come to a place like EPC, you might be shocked to find that dropping off your TV or monitor comes with a price tag. Why? Most drop-off items free, so why this cost money? Doesn’t the recycling company make money from recycling? Shouldn’t they pay you?
Unfortunately, recycling electronic equipment isn’t that simple. While someone might be able to make a quick buck collecting old soda cans, processing e-scrap requires far more work, with little profit for the company.
When your CRT or LCD screen is processed, it must be manually de-manufactured to remove universal waste—toxic substances such as lead and mercury which must be processed separately. One 17” CRT monitor can contain around six pounds of lead. While these substances aren’t a danger to you or your family when the device is in use, improper disposal can lead to harmful chemicals leeching into the environment. Manual labor, running and maintaining recycling machinery, and outsourcing the de-manufacturing of certain devices such as LCDs and printers are costs that add up.
You may still be wondering why it’s worth it to pay for proper disposal. After all, aren’t there other recycling companies that still take these items for free?
It’s true, some electronics recycling facilities claim to offer “no-cost” services and will take your devices free of charge. However, these companies don’t always handle end-of-life assets properly. Recently, dozens of defendants were named in a lawsuit against recycling companies that contributed to a massive CRT glass stockpile in Columbus, OH. Cleanup costs have been estimated at $18.2 million dollars, and forty-one electronics recyclers may be held financially responsible.
Our recycling prices ensure that each item is processed correctly without putting ourselves, our customers, or the environment at risk. Don’t worry, most of the items we accept are still free to drop off. Here is a complete list of what we accept free of charge:
- Desktop PCs
- Speaker Components and Accessories
- Video and Photo Equipment
- Cable and Satellite Receivers
- Digital and Film Cameras
- Audio Equipment
- Personal Printers
- Fax Machines
- Gaming Consoles
- Cell Phones and Batteries
- Phones and Accessories
- Small Electronic Appliances
- All Cables and Power Cords
- Small Household Electric Devices
- Rechargeable Batteries
For devices with a drop-off fee, we have updated our prices as a result of the rising costs of recycling hazardous materials:
- Screens up to 32″ and microwaves are $20 per item
- Screens above 32″ are $40 per item
EPC has a limit of up to four items per drop-off and reserves the right to refuse any items at any time.
We hope this clears up questions you may have about our recycling practices, and that you continue to make the effort to recycle responsibly. If you have any questions, or you need to recycle in bulk, please call (636)443-1999 for more information.