How to Dispose of a Computer Monitor [4 Best Ways]

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Computer monitors are the visual display units that present digital information from computers, available in different sizes and resolutions, often using technologies like LCD or LED. 

They serve as the primary output for computers, enabling users to interact with data.

In the swiftly advancing landscape of technology, many of us frequently upgrade our electronic devices, including computer monitors. 

However, figuring out what to do with the old or broken monitors can be challenging. 

This guide will delve into the reasons for responsibly recycling or disposing of old/broken monitors and offer a step-by-step overview of the appropriate methods to dispose of a computer monitor.

This includes preparing the monitor for recycling and making use of e-waste collection programs and companies.

Hazardous Materials Found Inside A Computer Monitor

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1. Mercury

One perilous element concealed within your computer monitor is mercury. 

Predominantly present in older models of LCD and CRT monitors, this infamous metal carries severe health risks. 

Inhaling its vapours can inflict damage to the nervous system and lungs, causing symptoms such as tremors, memory loss, and, in extreme cases, even death. 

If released into the environment, mercury can contaminate soil and water, posing a threat to wildlife and potentially entering our food chain.

2. Lead

Another concerning element within your computer monitor is lead, quietly residing in solder and circuit boards. 

This insidious substance poses a significant risk, especially to developing brains. 

Children exposed to lead may experience learning disabilities, behavioural issues, and a decline in IQ. 

Furthermore, lead poisoning can extend its harmful effects to adults, causing damage to the kidneys and nervous system

It’s crucial to be aware of the potential dangers posed by lead within electronic devices.

3. Arsenic

Another unwelcome intruder in your computer monitor is arsenic, a devious poison employed in glass production. 

When arsenic contaminates soil and water, it can lead to various health issues, including skin lesions, digestive problems, and the potential development of cancer. 

It’s essential to recognize and address the presence of arsenic as a serious concern associated with the manufacturing of electronic devices.

4. Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs

A less visible but concerning aspect of your monitor lies in the presence of Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs)

These chemicals, intended to thwart fires, have been associated with a range of health problems, such as thyroid disorders, learning difficulties, and even cancer. 

The lasting presence of BFRs in the environment raises serious concerns about prolonged exposure and potential harm to human health

It’s crucial to be aware of these hidden risks associated with fire prevention measures in electronic devices.

Now that we understand the potential risks associated with computer monitors, it’s important to delve into what are the reasons for recycling or disposing of old/broken monitors responsibly.

What Are The Reasons For Recycling or Disposing of Old/Broken Monitors Responsibly?

1. Safeguarding the Environment

Quite a few computer monitors come packed with risky materials like lead, mercury, arsenic, and brominated flame retardants, as we covered earlier. 

Tossing monitors away carelessly, like in landfills, can unleash these harmful substances into the environment, creating pollution and jeopardizing ecosystems.

Responsible recycling, on the other hand, guarantees the safe extraction and treatment of these hazardous materials within monitors. 

This prevents them from seeping into the soil and water, steering clear of potential contamination and the resulting harm to the environment and living organisms.

2. Preserving Resources

The production of each new monitor involves extracting virgin materials through mining, including rare metals and minerals. 

This rapid depletion of our planet’s valuable resources is a cause for concern. Conversely, recycling offers a sustainable alternative. 

It revitalizes old materials by extracting valuable components like glass, plastic, and metals from discarded monitors. 

These reclaimed materials are then repurposed to create new products, significantly reducing the demand for fresh resources and lessening the overall environmental impact.

3. Encouraging Eco-Friendly Habits

Acting responsibly when disposing of electronic devices, like recycling, supports the larger push for sustainability in the electronics industry. 

When we repurpose materials from old monitors, it lessens the demand for new resource extraction and manufacturing. 

This shift leads to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious approach.

4. Reducing Impact on the Environment

With the increasing use of electronic devices, electronic waste, or e-waste, has become a significant concern. 

Responsible disposal plays a pivotal role in minimizing the overall environmental impact of e-waste. 

It ensures that monitors undergo processing methods that prioritize both environmental and human health considerations.

The motivation behind recycling or responsibly disposing of old/broken monitors lies in a commitment to safeguarding the environment, preventing contamination, conserving valuable resources, promoting sustainability, and mitigating the adverse effects of electronic waste on our surroundings. 

Embracing responsible disposal practices represents a crucial step toward adopting a more environmentally conscious and sustainable approach to managing electronic devices.

Now that we understand the importance of responsible disposal, let’s explore how to properly dispose of a computer monitor.

Proper Ways To Dispose Of A Computer Monitor

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1. Check for Donation Opportunities 

A thoughtful and impactful way to responsibly part with your old computer monitor is by looking into donation options. 

Instead of simply getting rid of your monitor, take a moment to check with local organizations or schools to see if they would be interested in receiving functional monitors as donations.

Many institutions, especially those with limited resources, often seek operational electronic devices, and your contribution could make a significant difference for educational purposes.

Donating your monitor not only helps these community organizations but also lessens electronic waste, contributing to a more sustainable and conscientious approach to getting rid of technology.

2. Return to Manufacturer

If you’re looking for a convenient and eco-friendly way to part with your old computer monitor, think about returning it to the manufacturer through their take-back programs. 

Some companies have set up initiatives that let you return outdated electronics for proper disposal or recycling. 

To find out if this option is available for your monitor, just reach out to the manufacturer directly. 

Not only does this ensure that your monitor is disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner, but it also aligns with the manufacturer’s dedication to sustainable practices.

3. Local Electronics Recycling Centers

Be proactive in finding local electronics recycling centres or drop-off spots for e-waste when responsibly disposing of your computer monitor. 

Many cities have specific facilities designed to handle the proper disposal of electronic devices. 

Investigating and using these local options, you actively support the sustainable management of electronic waste, guaranteeing that your old computer monitor is treated and processed in an environmentally conscious way. 

This not only raises awareness within the community but also significantly contributes to minimizing the environmental impact linked to electronic waste disposal.

4. Retailer Trade-In Programs 

Consider taking advantage of retailer trade-in programs when thinking about getting rid of your old computer monitor. 

Some stores offer these programs, allowing you to swap your outdated monitor for a discount on a new one. 

This not only ensures that you dispose of your old device in a responsible and environmentally friendly way but also gives you a chance to save money on your next purchase. 

Participating in these programs, you not only contribute to sustainable practices but also enjoy a practical and economical way to upgrade your technology. 

With the preliminary steps covered, let’s delve into the specifics of preparing your monitor for recycling.

Preparing Your Monitor For Recycling

1. Backup Data

Before you recycle your monitor, make sure to prepare it by safeguarding your essential data. 

Disconnect the monitor from your computer and transfer any necessary files or settings to ensure that you retain important information. 

This step not only minimizes the risk of data loss but also facilitates a smooth transition to a new device. 

Taking a moment to back up your data is a simple yet crucial step in responsibly disposing of your monitor, providing peace of mind as you seamlessly transition to a new device without worrying about losing valuable information.

2. Factory Reset 

Performing a factory reset is a key step in ensuring the proper disposal of your monitor. 

Safeguarding your privacy is essential, especially if the monitor contains personal settings or configurations. 

This action effectively erases any stored data, returning the monitor to its default state. 

It is crucial to protect your personal information and prevent potential data misuse on the device. 

Beyond preparing your monitor for responsible recycling, a factory reset ensures a secure wipe of your data, facilitating a smooth and secure transition as you part ways with your old device.

3. Remove Cables 

Ensure to disconnect any cables or cords attached to your computer monitor. 

Detaching these cables is a straightforward yet crucial step in the preparation process. 

Once removed, these cables can be either recycled separately or disposed of according to local guidelines. 

Responsible cable recycling is essential for reducing electronic waste and ensuring proper material processing. 

Taking a moment to separate and handle the cables individually, you actively promote environmentally friendly practices and contribute to the responsible disposal of electronic devices.

4. Pack it securely

Proper packaging is vital to protect your monitor during transport to the recycling facility. If you still have the original packaging, that’s the best option. 

But if it’s not accessible, opt for a sturdy box and generously pad it to cushion the monitor. 

This step significantly reduces the risk of damage, guaranteeing that your monitor reaches the recycling centre in excellent condition and is fully prepared for environmentally responsible disposal.

E-Waste Collection Programs & Companies

Earth911 offers a searchable database containing information about recycling centres and drop-off locations for various types of e-waste, such as computer monitors. 

On the other hand, e-Stewards is an organization that certifies e-waste recyclers, ensuring the safe and ethical handling of your monitor. 

Additionally, the R2 Responsible Recycling program is another certification initiative focused on guaranteeing environmentally sound and responsible management of electronic waste.


Contributing to the responsible disposal of your old or broken computer monitor not only benefits the environment by promoting conservation but also aids in reducing hazardous materials in landfills. 

Whether you donate, utilize manufacturer programs, visit local recycling centres, or engage private e-waste companies, taking the time to ensure proper disposal represents a small yet impactful step toward building a more sustainable future.


1. Can I sell a broken computer monitor?

Selling a broken computer monitor is possible, but it’s crucial to be transparent about its condition. Some buyers may be interested in purchasing it for parts or attempting repairs.
Consider online platforms that specialize in second-hand electronics and be clear about the monitor’s functionality issues.

2. Can I use an old computer monitor as a TV?

Yes, you can repurpose an old computer monitor as a TV, but there are some considerations. 
Ensure that the monitor has the necessary ports for connecting external devices such as cable boxes or streaming devices.
Additionally, check if it has built-in speakers; otherwise, you might need external speakers for audio.

3. Are LCD monitors hazardous waste?

LCD monitors can contain small amounts of hazardous materials, such as mercury in the backlight. While the levels are generally low, it’s essential to dispose of them responsibly to prevent environmental impact. 
Many areas have e-waste recycling programs that handle the proper disposal and recycling of LCD monitors.

4. What can you do with faulty electronics?

When dealing with faulty electronics, explore recycling options. Many communities have e-waste collection programs or recycling centres where you can drop off old or malfunctioning electronics. 
Some manufacturers and retailers also offer take-back programs, allowing you to return faulty devices for proper disposal or recycling.
Donating to organizations that specialize in electronic refurbishment is another option if the device is still functional. Always check local regulations for specific disposal guidelines.

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