Recycling your old TV – What do I need to know?

Buying a new television is easy. But if you’re getting a new one, you should also make sure that you get rid of the old one properly. In the sense of environmental protection, we have created a guide for this: We show you everything you need to know about how to dispose of your old TV.

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We thought it would make sense to show you where you can dispose of your old TV or other electrical waste so that it doesn’t end up in the sea.

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Dispose of an old and broken TV

FIf your old TV is no longer salvageable, it has little to do in your apartment or house. However, it must not simply be put in the trash – there are exact regulations for that! Garbage collectors are not responsible for taking away old TVs or other electrical appliances. An old TV usually doesn’t even fit in the trash can.

In addition, pollutants can leach from the device that are harmful to the environment and to health. These pollutants include, for example, the chemical element cadmium, a toxic heavy metal. Fortunately, manufacturers like LG and Samsung now use more environmentally friendly technology!

Return to the waste dump

So what to do? If garbage collection doesn’t help, you have to take matters into your own hands (literally). To do this, you should head for the nearest landfill. To make it easier for you to find your way around, we have compiled a list of landfills in the largest urban centers in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland below.

Return at the electronics store

However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a landfill site or the recycling center, because the new Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act, which contains new take-back obligations for retailers, has been in effect since January 1, 2022. Now, when purchasing large devices, online retailers must clarify with their customers in advance whether an old device should be picked up free of charge. Local retailers must also accept old televisions when a new one is purchased. This is by no means limited to televisions; you can also return large devices such as washing machines, refrigerators or electric ovens to large stores such as MediaMarkt or Saturn, which will then take care of proper disposal for you..

The return is free of charge as long as you bring the device in person. If you don’t want to come in person, you can also simply commission a shipping company to transport the large devices. This can be combined especially well if you have a new device delivered by a shipping company! In this case, the supplier will take the old device back free of charge, as long as you asked for free disposal of the old device when you bought the new one! Small devices can even be shipped as parcels.

However, parcel shipping is no longer possible if the package weighs more than 31.5 kg and/or has a girth of more than 3.60 m. A side length of more than 2 m is also no longer permitted. In these cases the forwarding agency has to do it. Please note that you will not get a refund of the purchase price or residual value in case of disposal. The service is free of charge, although extra charges may apply for pickup from your own home.

Is there a punishment for illegal disposal?

Yes! This has been regulated by law since March 24, 2006 with the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act. It states that the disposal of electrical waste in household waste is forbidden and can be punished under criminal law. The penalties vary from state to state.

While a fine is due for violating the law, illegal disposal can sometimes become a criminal offense. If nature and the environment are polluted by the disposal of old devices, a prison sentence of up to five years may be imposed.

The reason is simple. Electronic chips and circuit boards contain precious metals that should be recycled. Most old devices even contain lead or mercury, which is harmful to the environment. However, manufacturers of modern televisions are successfully working to replace environmentally harmful substances with alternatives.

What pollutants are in televisions?

Modern televisions no longer contain as many environmentally hazardous substances as they did some 20 years ago. In particular, older devices manufactured before 2002 contain a much higher proportion of pollutants: heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury, flame retardants such as tetra-bromobisphenyl (TBB-A) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), or organic pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). Particularly old electrical appliances even still contain asbestos, which is highly cancer-causing.

Nowadays, things look a little different. Manufacturers pay much more attention to the production of environmentally friendly devices. Unlike the CRT screen from the last millennium, LCD screens are much more environmentally friendly and have a lower pollutant potential.

However, since televisions consist of more than just screens, the danger is not completely averted. Virtually every electronic device has capacitors that are hazardous to water. Built-in circuit boards have lead and flame retardants in the solder joints. In addition, devices with high current flow use metallic mercury, which is highly (!) toxic to humans. Therefore, it is even more important that televisions are recycled properly.

Basically, it can be said that about 1% of all components of a television set are unusable. One kilogram of electronic waste contains about 13.4 mg of mercury. With 10kg of electronic waste, this figure increases tenfold. Therefore, old devices have no place in household waste (or even in nature)!

Dispose of an intact TV

If your old TV is still working properly and you simply fancy something new like more modern technology, there’s nothing wrong with that in principle. You have various options for getting rid of the old TV in an environmentally friendly way. Some of them can even bring you some extra income or boost your karma account.

Sell your TV

You can easily offer your old TV for sale on numerous online portals. From eBay classifieds to Facebook Marketplace, the possibilities are many. Unfortunately, the half-lives of devices are short and used prices drop quite quickly – but it’s definitely worth a try. Flea markets are also a good place to sell old TVs. Of course, this involves a certain amount of effort.

Give the TV away

If you have a merciful streak, you can of course simply give away your TV to friends or family. Just ask your acquaintances, it probably can’t hurt! Provided, of course, that you can afford to give away a TV – not everyone can. Especially younger family members are very happy about such a gift and the devices will continue to be used – which is good for the environment!

If both friends and family are served with TVs and you still want to do something good, you can of course simply donate your old device. Schools, shelters or relief and development organizations are always in need of donated devices and other items. It’s good for your karma account! On you will find a search function that shows you social institutions in your area.

Fernseher entsorgen
A television does not belong in the nature. It must be disposed of in accordance with the regulations.

Where can I dispose of my TV?

Below we have prepared lists of the largest metropolitan areas in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. There you will find the most central waste collection points, which will then properly dispose of and recycle your electrical equipment.

Please note that the lists are not sorted alphabetically, but by population. In addition, we have selected the most central in each case for metropolitan areas where there are numerous collection points.

Click on the address to get instant, convenient directions!

Landfills in Germany

Since Germany has the largest population in the German-speaking world, this list is also the longest. In the metropolises, there should be little problem finding a collection point in the immediate vicinity and being able to dispose of your TV. For the smaller cities, we have of course deposited the largest landfill.

Metropolitan areaLandfillAddress
BerlinBSR RecyclinghofThroughout the city
HamburgRecyclinghof Hamburg BahrenfeldRondenbarg 52, 22525 Hamburg
MünchenWertstoffinselnThroughout the city
KölnAWB Köln GmbH, Wertstoff-Center OssendorfButzweilerstraße 50, 50829 Köln
Frankfurt am MainFES Frankfurter Entsorgungs- und Service GmbH - Wertstoffhof NordMax-Holder-Straße 29, 60437 Frankfurt am Main
StuttgartAbfallwirtschaft StuttgartHeinrich-Baumann-Straße 4, 70190 Stuttgart
DüsseldorfZentraldeponie HubbelrathErkrather Landstraße 81, 40629 Düsseldorf
LeipzigStadtreinigung Leipzig Wertstoffhof Max-Liebermann-Straße 97, 04157 Leipzig
DortmundEDG Recyclinghof HacheneyZeche Crone 12, 44265 Dortmund
EssenRecyclingstation Elisenstraße Elisenstrasse 76, 45139 Essen
BremenRecycling-Station Obervieland Fritz-Thiele-Strasse 20, 28279 Bremen
DresdenWertstoffhof FriedrichstadtAltonaer Straße 15, 01159 Dresden
HannoverAha Wertstoffhof MengendammMengendamm 15, 30177 Hannover
NürnbergNürnberger Wertstoffhof - MitteAm Pferdemarkt 23, 90439 Nürnberg
DuisburgRecyclinghof MitteZur Kupferhütte 10, 47053 Duisburg
BochumUSB WertstoffhofBrelohstrasse 70, 44803 Bochum
WuppertalAWG RecyclinghofBornberg 22, 42109 Wuppertal
BielefeldWertstoffhof MitteHerforder Straße 220, 33609 Bielefeld
BonnWert- und Schadstoffsammelstelle von Bonn OrangeImmenburgstrasse 22, 53121 Bonn
MünsterRecyclinghof Münster GievenbeckBernings Kotten 9, 48161 Münster

Dung heaps in Austria

In Austria, the population density is much lower than in Germany – but that does not mean that there are no manure sites. In the greater Vienna area there should be enough places, but for the smaller cities we were able to locate the largest and most central manure sites.

Metropolitan areaDung heapAddress
WienMA 48 MistplatzJohann-Petrak-Gasse 1, 1110 Wien, Österreich
GrazFCC Austria Abfall Service AGAuer-Welsbach-Gasse 25, 8055 Graz, Österreich
LinzLINZ AG AbfallwirtschaftNebingerstraße 4, 4020 Linz, Österreich
SalzburgRecyclinghof der Stadt SalzburgSiezenheimer Straße 20, 5020 Salzburg, Österreich
InnsbruckRecyclinghof RossauRossaugasse 4a, 6020 Innsbruck, Österreich
KlagenfurtAltstoffsammelstelle NORDKautscheleweg 14, 9020 Klagenfurt am Wörthersee, Österreich
VillachVillacher Saubermacher GmbH & Co KGDrauwinkelstrasse 2 9500 Villach, Oesterreich
WelsAltstoffsammelzentrum WelsFlorianiweg 9, 4600 Wels, Österreich
St. PöltenAltstoffsammelzentrum St. PöltenHerzogenburger Straße 74, 3100 St. Pölten, Österreich

Recycling centers in German-speaking Switzerland

We have also prepared a list of recycling centers for the largest cities and towns in German-speaking Switzerland. On site, you will be professionally helped with the disposal of your old TV.

Metropolitan areaLandfillAddress
ZürichDebag AG ZürichHohlstrasse 330, 8004 Zürich, Schweiz
BaselREMONDIS RecyclingparkBonergasse 12, 4057 Basel, Schweiz
BernEntsorgung und Recycling Stadt Bern Murtenstrasse 100, 3001 Bern, Schweiz
WinterthurMaag Recycling AGWerkstrasse 12, 8400 Winterthur, Schweiz
LuzernÖkihof Emmenbrücke Gerliswilstrasse 31, 6020 Emmen, Schweiz
St. GallenSammelstelle St. GallenGüterbahnhofstrasse 6, 9000 St. Gallen, Schweiz
SchaffhausenAbfallcenter Beringen AGHardmorgenweg 15, 8222 Beringen, Schweiz
ChurVögele Recycling AGIndustriestrasse 5A, 7000 Chur, Schweiz
ZugÖkihof ZugÄussere Güterstrasse 10, 6300 Zug, Schweiz
FrauenfeldTricycling Mittelthurgau AGJuchstrasse 37, 8500 Frauenfeld, Schweiz
AarauElektrorecycling AarauWässermattstrasse 1, 5000 Aarau, Schweiz

You’re ready for a new TV?

If you’ve gotten rid of your old device and are now in the mood for something new, feel free to use our buying guide to find a new TV that fits your needs exactly. But even if you’ve already decided on a new device, you’ll find the best deals on the latest TVs here at tvfindr. So feel free to check us out!

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