POTTSBURGH (KDKA) — Donating, recycling, or just getting rid of an old TV for free is getting to be a real challenge in Pennsylvania.
“Unfortunately, Goodwill no longer accepts televisions,” says Michael Goettel, assistant manager of the North Hills Goodwill.
Goodwill is hardly alone.
Best Buy now says it will no longer take old TVs, and neither will Staples, the Salvation Army, or Construction Junction.
Even eLoop in Plum that once welcomed drop-offs no longer wants them.
The Pennsylvania Resources Council has held events for years to collect old televisions.
That’s now in jeopardy.
“It’s very unlikely that we will find a path where we can accept TVs for no cost for the consumer this summer 2016,” says Justin Stockdale, western regional director for the PA Resources Council.
While state law bans TVs from landfills, residents are supposed to be able to recycle their old TVs for free.
But the places to do that are dwindling.
“The public policy has clearly failed. The intent of the law is not achieved,” Stockdale told political editor Jon Delano.
The consequence is obvious, says Myrna Newman of Allegheny CleanWays.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in illegally dumped TVs.”
There are over 600 illegal dumpsites in the city alone, where people toss old TVs despite a $10,000 fine.
It’s bad enough if the inability to recycle your old TVs for free is causing some people to toss their TVs off the hillside.
But what is worse is that in some neighborhoods people are putting their TVs right on the street where everyone can see them.
Homeowners have only three legal options:
A municipal recycling program.
“In Allegheny County there are a handful, maybe six,” says Stockdale.
Or pay to take or haul the TV away.
Or store it in your basement until lawmakers fix the law.
“Hold onto it for another year.”