Don't dump your old telly!

By James Russell

Photo / Getty Images
Photo / Getty Images

Environment: Televisions, especially older sets, contain a toxic cocktail of materials. They're safe sitting in your living room, but thrown into landfill they can damage the environment - and human health. We look at what's inside a typical TV, and how it can be recycled.

As the country goes digital, some New Zealanders will use the opportunity to upgrade their TV so it is important that any unwanted TVs are recycled responsibly.

If you are thinking about getting rid of your old TV set, think twice before you take it to the landfill or hand it on to a second-hand shop.

TVs contain many materials that can be re-used in other products if they are recycled, as well as materials like lead that can be hazardous to our health and the environment so they shouldn't be dumped in landfills or into the environment, but recycled responsibly.

The TV TakeBack programme, an initiative to encourage people to recycle unwanted TVs, was launched in the Upper North Island on October 23 with towns and cities in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Auckland and Northland regions all participating.

The Government has partnered with a range of recyclers, retailers and councils to provide a nationwide network to collect and recycle these TVs. A range of recycling drop off points is being offered through local councils, participating retailers and e-waste recyclers as part of the TV TakeBack programme.

Meanwhile, the Enviroschools Challenge has also been launched for the regions' 500+ schools and kura in the Enviroschools Foundation network, encouraging students and their families to dispose of unwanted TVs properly. With each TV that's recycled, an Enviroschool can be nominated and be in to win a Samsung technology package for their Enviroschool.

Money from the Waste Minimisation Fund is subsidising the cost to the public of dropping off TVs for recycling as Going Digital progresses around the country. Through the subsidy, the cost to the public to recycle a television is no more than $5.

Visit to find out more information about TV TakeBack and the Enviroschools Challenge.

Up-to-date details of all drop-off sites in the nationwide network are available online at:

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