A major shift takes place in the television industry on June 12. That’s when the long-awaited shift to digital broadcast takes place, making analog signals a thing of the past.
With choices in cable, satellite, and converter boxes, there’s going to be a huge pile of unusable TV sets.
That’s an unprecedented amount of potential e-waste. However, the campaign Take Back My TV is set up to encourage manufacturers to take back and responsibly recycle them. Part of the Electronics Take Back Coalition, Take Back My TV promotes keeping TV’s out of landfills.
The industry is driven by a throw-away mentality–get the new, throw out the old, don’t worry about it.
Well, old TV’s just don’t “go away“–they contain harmful elements that hurt people and the environment, including lead and mercury. If it’s not a flat screen, it’s not supposed to go in a landfill. Six states have already passed laws making it illegal to throw away TV’s, and five more are slated to do so in 2010.
While consumers are urged to get the new digital models, little or no effort is being made to deal with the remaining ones. SONY was the first company to sign up for the initiative; Wal-Mart, and Samsung are two more with take-back programs. The website gives a report card on major manufacturers are or are not doing in addressing this problem.
As a consumer activist, send a message through the site urging the promotion of free takeback programs, responsible purchasing, and improved designs. Tossing a TV in the trash is not acceptable.