Since computers have become a staple in work and home life, the question of how to dispose of a computer monitor properly often arises. Here we will provide a guide on recycling or properly disposing of a computer monitor. By doing so, you can help keep harmful toxins out of our landfills and environment.
The outer casing of most monitors is made of plastic. Most circuit boards and wiring are coated with lead, cadmium, or other harmful metals. When these monitors are thrown away, these toxins can leach into the ground and contaminate our water supply.
Many electronics recycling centers will accept monitors for recycling. However, if you do not have access to one of these centers, there are other ways to dispose of your monitor in an environmentally friendly way.
Preparing Your Monitor for Recycling
- If you have a CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor, it is important to discharge the electricity stored on the screen. It can be done by either unplugging the monitor and letting it sit for 24 hours or using a CRT discharger.
- Remove any plastic covers or stickers that are on the monitor.
- Detach the stand from the monitor, if applicable.
- Remove the screws that hold the back cover on the monitor. Be sure to save these screws, as they will be needed when reassembling the monitor for recycling.
- Carefully remove the circuit board and other components from the monitor. These components can be recycled separately from the rest of the monitor.
How to Dispose of a Computer Monitor?
If you have an old computer monitor that you need to dispose of, there are a few different options available. The most important thing is to ensure that the monitor is properly recycled, so the hazardous materials do not end up in a landfill.
- Find a local electronics recycling center: Many cities and towns have facilities to drop off old electronics to be recycled. To find a center near you, visit the website of the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Contact your local garbage or recycling agency: Some local agencies have programs for recycling old computer monitors. Contact your city or country government to find out if there are any special programs in your area.
- Check with retailers selling electronics: Some retailers have programs where they will take back old computer monitors and recycle them. These programs are typically free of charge and allow people to easily dispose of old or unwanted monitors in an eco-friendly way. Often, retailers partner with local organizations or other companies to facilitate these devices’ pickup, transport, and recycling.
- Find a local e-waste recycling event: Many communities hold special events where you can bring old computer monitors to be recycled. To find an event near you, visit the website of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition.
- Mail it in: Several private companies offer mail-in programs for recycling old computer monitors. One such company is Best Buy’s Electronics Recycling Program.
- Sell or donate it: If your old monitor is still in working condition, you may be able to sell it or donate it to someone who can use it. Try listing it on a website like Craigslist or Freecycle.
- Disassemble it and recycle the parts: If you are comfortable disassembling your old monitor, you can recycle the individual parts. The circuit board, for example, can be recycled at a facility that accepts electronic waste. The plastic casing can be recycled at a plastic recycling facility.
- Throw it away: If you cannot find a way to recycle or reuse your old monitor, you can dispose of it in the trash. However, be sure to check with your local garbage or recycling agency to see if there are any special guidelines in place for disposing of electronic waste.
Computer Monitors and their Toxic Components
As anyone who spends a significant amount of time in front of a computer knows, monitors are an essential part of the computing experience. However, what many people don’t realize is that monitors can also be a source of toxic substances.
The most common type of monitor is the cathode ray tube (CRT) monitor, which contains lead in the glass envelope that surrounds the tube. In addition, CRTs often contain other harmful substances such as cadmium and mercury. LCD monitors are increasingly common, and while they don’t contain lead, they may contain other harmful chemicals, such as brominated flame retardants.
The toxic components in computer monitors can cause several health problems, including cancer, congenital disabilities, and reproductive problems. The most common toxic metals found in monitors are lead, cadmium, and mercury.
Lead: Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause many health issues, including brain damage, learning disabilities, and behavior problems.
Cadmium: Cadmium is a carcinogen that can cause kidney damage and respiratory problems.
Mercury: Mercury is a neurotoxin that can cause developmental delays and neurological problems.
As you can see, there are several ways to dispose of a computer monitor in an environmentally friendly way. Recycling or reusing your old monitor can help keep harmful toxins out of our landfills and environment.
Is there gold inside computers and laptops?
The answer is yes, but it’s not easy to get to. Computers and laptops contain small amounts of gold in the form of gold-plated connectors. To extract the gold, you would need to disassemble the electronic devices and then use a chemical process to remove the gold. This is not something that is recommended for the average person, as it requires special knowledge and equipment.
Is throwing away my computer monitor against the law?
No, throwing away a computer monitor is not against the law. However, many cities and towns have laws that prohibit throwing away electronic waste in the trash. Be sure to check with your local garbage or recycling agency to see if there are any special guidelines for disposing of electronic waste.
What are the computer monitor recycling certifications I should be asking about?
There are a few different computer monitor recycling certifications to look for when choosing a recycling partner. One is the e-Stewards Certification. The R2 Certification is another important certification.