Essential Pittsburgh
4:35 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

TV Dumping, A Growing Problem Throughout the Region

How often have you seen old tube TVs dumped on the side of the road this summer? Find out how they can be properly discarded.
How often have you seen old tube TVs dumped on the side of the road this summer? Find out how they can be properly discarded.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

In 2010 a statewide ban was passed as part of the Covered Device Recycling Act. It called for electronic waste, or E-Waste to be taken to approved recycling drop-off sites. However, discarded televisions have been showing up curbside throughout the city.

Justin Stockdale, western regional director of the PA Resources Council said the problem tends to be caused by a lack of knowledge of the proper methods of getting rid of old televisions. The largest problem is figuring out which facilities take them, a task even Stockdale admits can be difficult.

“Many of these processors, even Goodwill industries, in fact, was collecting TVs up until about the middle of last year and realized, again, they were confronted with the same problem: they don’t generate enough revenue as part of this OEM sponsored program, to cover the cost of management. And so they step away from it, and now we’re left with Best Buy stores, Construction Junction,  our PRC operated events, and that’s about it for western Pennsylvania.”

If a resident does leave a television to be picked up by collectors, Stockdale says the city will often place a sticker on the discarded television. These stickers do not issue fines for residents, but Stockdale says some provide information in the form of a website link, to where residents can take their old televisions to be recycled.

When it comes to the old concept of “The American Dream,” where people have a television set in every room in their home, Stockdale says.

“Well, we’re now dealing with all those TVs that they put in every room, because they replaced them all with flat screens!”

For the PRC's current schedule of E-Waste recycling events visit their website.