Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania will no longer accept donations of TVs.
“We regret that it has become economically impossible for us to continue accepting TVs,” said Michael J. Smith, President/CEO of Goodwill SWPA. He said from this point forward, Goodwill would have to pay a recycling company to take any more donated TVs. “Our allocation from our recycler for 2013 was 1.5 million pounds, which was over double the amount we sent them last year, and we reached that 1.5 million-pound mark in just six months,” Mr. Smith said.
“We also have a large backlog of donated TVs that we cannot send to the recycling company we have used for many years, because it would cost Goodwill approximately $125,000 to do so. While we are pleased that we played a part in keeping a large amount of old TVs out of landfills, we simply cannot afford to pay to continue taking them.”
The situation for consumers who want to get rid of old TVs is complicated because TVs are included in Pennsylvania’s new E-waste disposal ban that went into effect in January. The Covered Device Recycling Act requires that certain electronic items be recycled and bars them from landfills and other disposal facilities.
The ban also prohibits municipal curbside collection of TVs, along with desktop and laptop computers, monitors, and peripherals, except for collection programs specifically for electronic materials.
Mr. Smith emphasized that Goodwill still needs computer donations. “There is still a strong market for computer recycling, so we encourage people to donate their old computers to Goodwill.” Goodwill is able to provide this service through a partnership with Dell Reconnect that aims to provide residential consumers with a safe place to recycle used computers.
“TV recycling is a major problem that will have to be resolved by the TV manufacturers, the recyclers, and probably the government,” Mr. Smith said. “We hope that our decision to stop taking TV donations will help to generate greater awareness of this situation and spur action. Until there is some resolution to the TV recycling dilemma, because of the cost, Goodwill cannot continue to serve as a valuable outlet for consumers who need to dispose of unwanted televisions.”