On February 17, 2009 television stations will go digital, meaning that analog TV’s will not longer receive a signal, leaving millions of analog TV owners with a dark and useless TV set. As technology is rapidly advances, we are constantly ‘trading up’ to get a faster connection and sharper image – whether its a cell phone, MP3 player or television.
Unfortunately, we don’t have a comprehensive way to deal with E-waste. In fact, when the stations go ‘lights out’ on analog sets next year, there isn’t an e-waste program to handle the discarded TV’s. Currently, only Sony electronics has offered to take back and recycle old Sony sets. If old sets aren’t properly disposed of, we face cadmium, lead, beryllium seeping into the soil and contaminating our water supply.
According to the Take Back My TV campaign this is the largest government mandated obsolescence program in US history. The Sony announced their recycling campaign earlier this year in a release that noted the amount of e-waste is on the rise and the issue is becoming increasingly crucial as the FCC-mandated switch to all digital TV signals in February 2009 nears. The Consumer Electronics Association expects at least 30 million digital televisions to be sold in the U.S. this year alone.
Photo credit: Sony
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