Computer Monitors

What to Do With Old Computer Monitors

Don't throw that old computer monitor in the trash! As tempting as it might be, there are much better ways to get rid of an old computer monitor -- and in some cases, a little care will keep you on the right side of the law.

You finally decided to upgrade your business computer monitor and have driven straight from the office supply store to install it on your desktop.

After the initial excitement wears off, you suddenly realize you have a problem on your hands -- finding a new home for your old monitor.

For a lot of business users, the solution is to designate a storage room as a technology graveyard. Old computers, monitors and accessories populate the space until someone realizes they need to find a more permanent solution. The dumpster simply is not an option, so the real question is what to do with old computer monitors.

Why Computer Monitor Disposal Matters

The EPA prohibits CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) monitors from being disposed of in landfills. The reason is that CRT monitors contain toxins that can be released into the environment. The glass portions of a CRT monitor are made of leaded glass. Lead from the glass doesn't break down naturally, but can bleed into the air, soil and groundwater.

To dispose of old monitors, you will need to do some research. There are a number of ways to dispose of outdated technology without risking a fine or negative environmental impact. Many communities offer convenient resources for monitor disposal, but it will be up to you to decide which disposal method is best for your business.

  • Computer Monitor Recycling. Local electronics dealers and manufacturers offer monitor recycling programs. The way it works is that you bring your monitor to the store or collection location and pay a small recycling fee. Don't let the fee deter you. It's usually only a few bucks and it's a lot cheaper than the fine you will receive from the EPA if you discard your old monitor in a dumpster.
  • Computer Monitor Resale. It's theoretically possible to resell your monitor to another business or individual consumer. But unless you can find a graphic designer who is desperate for an old CRT monitor in good condition, your chances of finding a buyer are slim.
  • Donate Computer Monitors. You have a better chance donating your old monitor to a nonprofit then you do selling it to another business. But even this can be tricky since new, flat panel monitors are an inexpensive budget item for most nonprofits.
  • Internal Computer Monitor Reuse. If your old monitor is still in good working order, you may be able to find another use for it in your business. Although handing down your monitor to another employee can have value, it doesn't solve the problem of monitor disposal -- it just delays it.

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