Reporting Jon Delano
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Flat screen televisions are big selling items these days — especially as the prices become more reasonable — but getting rid of your old television set is becoming much more of a challenge.
“Really we can’t take any more TVs this year,” says David Tobiczyk of Goodwill.
Effective July 14, the local non-profit will no longer accept television sets, a popular drop-off in this region.
“Last year we accepted about three quarter of a million pounds of televisions for the whole year of 2012. Already through halfway this year, we’ve taken 1.5 million pounds of TVs, so it’s quite a difference,” he said.
Why the rapid growth of discarded TVs donated to Goodwill?
The problem really began last January when a new state law prohibited residents from putting their old TVs out on the curb for waste collection.
If Goodwill — which collected at least 15,000 televisions over the last six months — won’t take them, who will?
“Some of the big box retailers that sell the television sets will take them back,” says Dave Mazza of the Pennsylvania Resources Council.
Dave Mazza of the Pennsylvania Resources Council says don’t panic.
“A lot of municipalities are hosting collection events for these materials that the residents can’t put out for the regular trash,” he adds.
Mazza says it’s important to recycle and not dump.
“There’s also some potentially hazardous products in them as well — cadmium, beryllium, mercury, and lead — so we don’t want to stick them in a hole in the ground and cause problems for future generations,” Mazza said.
While goodwill won’t take TVs, it still welcomes other electronics the state also banned from the dump.
“We take all computer related material. That includes regular computers, laptops, desktops, pcs, printers, all those kind of materials,” says Tobiczyk.
That’s some good news — but as for your old TV sets — Saturday is the last day Goodwill will accept them.
After that, check with your local municipality — and the retailer where you buy your new TV.
And the Pennsylvania Resource Council is also holding a special collection on August 17 in the Strip District.