Old televisions are piling up at council waste education contractor EcoSolutions, ready to be sent for recycling.

"So far we have collected over 700 TVs but we know there are possibly hundreds or thousands more," says EcoSolutions waste minimisation educator Anna Murphy.

Analogue television transmissions are being switched off and replaced with a digital signal in Northland on December 1, rendering some TVs obsolete.

In an effort to prevent the dumping of those TVs, which contain materials that can harm the environment, Whangarei District Council is taking part in the Ministry for the Environment's TV TakeBack programme. Ms Murphy said: "The Government is subsidising the cost by $20, so people only have to pay $5 [to recycle their old TV]."

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"It's such a good opportunity to keep the TVs from going to the landfill, because they contain toxic substances - the worst being the leaded glass," Ms Murphy said.

"With the TV TakeBack programme, the lead will be recycled for new electronics."

EcoSolutions will be collecting TVs at a cost of $5 every Saturday until November 23 at 1 Woods Rd, behind Chipmunks, between 10am and 4pm. The ReSort Centre on Kioreroa Rd is also taking part and Ms Murphy said it had received around 400 TVs so far.