All businesses, non-profits, schools and public agencies in Missouri are required by law to properly manage certain discarded electronics. Some electronics may be classified as hazardous waste. Color televisions, computer monitors, circuit boards and other electronics contain heavy metals so they cannot legally be disposed in Missouri landfills by businesses. In older televisions, these heavy metals can include up to four pounds of lead. Other materials that can be found in televisions include chromium, cadmium, mercury, beryllium, nickel, zinc and brominated flame retardants.
There are three basic ways a business can choose to manage unwanted televisions: by reusing, recycling or managing as hazardous waste.
- Reusing and Recycling Exemption—Electronics, including televisions, intended for legitimate use or reuse do not need to be managed as hazardous waste. If legitimately used or reused, the materials are not considered solid or hazardous waste. Properly reusing or recycling televisions and electronics prevents heavy metals and other toxic materials from polluting our environment.
- Reuse—While your business may no longer have a need for a television, non-profit groups and other organizations might have a use for working televisions. Schools, churches or thrift stores may accept working televisions, but it is recommended to contact the organization first to see if there is a need for televisions.
- Recycle —Recycling through a registered e-cycle Missouri recycler will help your business or organization comply with the law. A list of electronic recyclers in Missouri is available online.
Recycling electronics, like televisions, allows for a process called resource recovery to take place. The recycling process can isolate and remove materials from a television, eliminating the need to mine new materials from the ground.
Televisions as Hazardous Waste
Businesses that choose not to reuse or recycle televisions must manage them as hazardous waste. Businesses must abide by applicable hazardous waste laws and regulations.
Digital Television Transition
A digital convertor box is needed for an analog television to be able to receive digital signals.
Analog televisions that cannot receive a digital signal can still be useful to businesses. These televisions can be connected to a DVD or VCR and used to watch training videos or can be connected to security cameras.
Helpful Web Sites
- To learn more about electronic recycling in Missouri, including a list of certified electronic recyclers in Missouri, visit Registered Electronics Recycling Businesses List.
- To learn about electronic recycling options for households in Missouri see the fact sheet “Managing Discarded Televisions” online.
- Missouri Revised Statutes, or RSMo, including the Missouri Hazardous Waste Management Law, are available from the Revisor of Statutes, 573-526-1288, or online through the Missouri General Assembly website.
- Missouri Code of State Regulations is available online from the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office, or by calling 573-751-4015.
- Code of Federal Regulations is available online. Copies may be purchased from a U.S. Government Bookstore, the U.S. Government Printing Office or from a commercial information service such as the Bureau of National Affairs.
Nothing in this document may be used to implement any enforcement action or levy any penalty unless promulgated by rule under chapter 536 or authorized by statute.