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November 11, 2019

To Recycle or Not to Recycle

Jennifer Baker

While the county debates the merits of banning plastic bags, straws and balloon releases, this week I ventured out to try to recycle a broken flat screen television in Frederick.


My broken TV is a newer flat screen that fell forward and shattered the glass. It was purchased at Best Buy locally and worked well until the screen shattered.


I first headed to Best Buy, who advertises they have a recycling program for electronics at the store.


Upon entering the store, I asked the gentleman manning the door where the recycling program was in store and he asked me if I was aware of the charge to recycle a TV.


Best Buy, while they will take back electronics to recycle, they charge a $25 fee to recycle a broken TV. The fee would apply even though the TV was purchased there.


As I did not want to pay the fee, I waited until Saturday morning and headed to the local landfill recycling area.


Once there, I was told that electronics, while they can be recycled, must go through the scale house and be paid for by the pound.


Around the corner I went, only to find a line at least 10 vehicles long awaiting to get to the scales. Like most people I work during the week during the normal hours of operation at the landfill and anything that needs to go to the landfill must wait until Saturday morning.


I left with the TV the still on the back seat of my car, as I did not have time to wait in line just to recycle a broken television – and for which I would have to pay to do so, likely less than Best Buy, but still a fee to recycle it.


Back at home a quick Google search turned up no other real prospects to “do the right thing” and recycle my TV.


While there are places that will accept used computers to reuse or recycle and shred the hard drive, there seems to be a gap in smaller consumer good electronics.


Which left me wondering why we have no better systems in place in Frederick.


Every house has an endless amount of electronics that either go in the trash at the end of use, or take up space as clutter while we try to find someplace to take the old equipment that will hopefully recycle and or reuse.


Perhaps instead of bans on bags, straws and balloon releases, the county, as part of our climate crisis, could tackle better things such as electronics recycling especially considering the cost to the county out of pocket to recycle currently.


So, if you are interested, free to good home a used TV. Needs work.


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