Texas Passes Television Recycling Bill

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A new law in Texas will provide free television recycling provided by an annual registration fee paid by manufacturers.

House Bill 821 was sent to Texas Governor Rick Perry on May 31 and will require a $2,500 registration fee by manufacturers. They will also be required to submit a television recycling plan. Beginning in 2010, manufacturers must document how many television sets are collected to help set recycling baselines for the future.

Just in time for the digital switch! Texas' bill will require manufacturers to provide a recycling program. Photo: Treehugger.com

Just in time for the digital switch! Texas' bill will require manufacturers to provide a recycling program. Photo: Treehugger.com

A similar program began in Oregon earlier this year where each manufacturer was assigned a “return rate” based on the number of electronic devices it sells. Texas already offers a manufacturer-funded program to recycle computers.

While this bill encourages and incentivizes recycling televisions, recycling is not mandated, and the sets are not banned from landfills. Most older television sets without digital tuners are cathode ray tube (CRT) monitors, which contain up to eight pounds of lead per set and pose problems both to the environment and the safety of sanitation workers if landfilled.

In Texas, another popular source for obsolete televisions is Goodwill. In Austin, Goodwill recycles 30,000 pounds of televisions each month that have been dropped off at the doorsteps of its locations. Goodwill pays approximately 25 cents per pound to recycle these sets.

“This bill is so great for Goodwill and other nonprofit organizations and local governments that accept TVs,” said Christine Banks, vice president of environmental business with Goodwill Industries of Central Texas in Austin.

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Trey Granger
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  1. Author

    Update: Gov. Perry vetoed the bill, meaning Texas manufacturers will not be held accountable for recycling yet.

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