Texas Says Yes to Television Recycling

Today the Texas Legislature signed a bill that forces television manufacturers to give consumers a way to recycle their old televisions. Supporters of the plan say it'll keep less toxic chemicals out of landfills. Bill Stamps has more.

The big switch to digital television takes place next month. Once that happens, many older televisions will need a converter box in order to be usable. Some environmentalists were worried a lot of those TV’s would end up in dump sites polluting the ground…so they pushed for a mandatory recycling law. The law requires companies like Sony and Toshiba to provide consumers with a place to dispose of their televisions free of charge. Zac Trahan is with the Texas Campaign for the environment.

“The reality is that with this digital switch or not there are people every year that throw out old televisions. And without having a good system in place for the manufacturers to help take them back, the stuff ends up in our dumps here in Texas or throughout the country or even worldwide.”

The bill must still be signed by the governor to become law. But two years ago he signed a similar law regarding computers so this one is not expected to be a problem. Supporters of the recycling plan are ecstatic but admit that just because companies provide a place to drop off the TV’s…doesn’t mean people won’t just toss their old sets in the garbage.

“If the law is in effect and the recycling programs isn’t easy and convenient to use, then they’re still going to be thrown out in dumpsters. So having the law in effect is a really good first step, but we need to do due diligence and make that the manufacturers set up really easy ways for the public to recycle.”

Supporters of the bill hope the governor will sign it by the June 12th, which is the date of the switch to digital television.