Bill Keeps TVs Out of Texas Landfills

Don't put your television set in the garbage

"With the switch to digital television less than a month away and millions of old TVs on their way to Texas landfills, today the Legislature took an important step toward stopping a potential avalanche of toxic TVs by passing this bill," said Robin Schneider of Texas Campaign for the Environment after the passage of House Bill 821. The bill, by San Antonio Democrat David Leibowitz, requires that television manufacturers recycle their market share of televisions recycled in Texas, regardless of the brand. It passed unanimously; if signed into law, it would quickly follow a previous victory for electronics recycling advocates, the 2007 law setting up a recycling program for computers. Recycling electronics is important because of the toxic metals inside them. While in the electronic device, the metals are harmless, but they become an environmental problem when crushed in a landfill. Old TVs contain between 4 and 8 pounds of lead, and flat-screen TVs contain mercury. "The passing of this bill will allow nonprofit organizations, like Good­will, and local governments to put more funds into the community, instead of paying the expense to properly recycle nonworking televisions," said Christine Banks, vice president of environmental business services at Goodwill Indus­tries of Central Texas.

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