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Mayor Fenty, DDOE Remind Residents to Recycle Unused TVs

Friday, January 30, 2009

Media Contact: Nancee Lyons (DPW) (202) 671-2637

Washington, DC – With the nation switching to digital broadcasting later this year, District residents who purchase new television sets can recycle their old ones for free. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, the Department of Public Works (DPW), the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) and the Office of Cable Television (OCT) remind residents to bring unwanted sets to the Ft. Totten Transfer Station, 4900 Bates Road, NE, or the Benning Road Transfer Station, 3200 Benning Road, NE, on Saturdays from 8 am to 3 pm.

“Many people buy new TVs before the Super Bowl and with the upcoming federally mandated switch from analog technology to digital broadcasting, more residents than ever are likely to purchase a digital TV, and they need a way to discard their unwanted sets,” said DPW Director William O. Howland, Jr.  “The District will recycle those unwanted TVs free of charge if they bring them to either transfer station.”

In addition to televisions, residents may bring audio-video equipment, cell phones, home office equipment, computers, computer parts and computer components for end-of-life disposal or recycling. Television screens must be intact—not cracked, punctured or shattered.

“Electronics recycling helps protect our planet,” said DDOE Director George S. Hawkins. “Cathode-ray television sets contain an average of four pounds of lead each. Dumping an old TV in a landfill, or worse, a vacant lot, means the lead can end up in our groundwater or air. Doing the right thing is absolutely free and it makes a big difference.”

Recycling electronics creates additional markets that can have a direct impact on the economy and the consumer, says Howland.

“When residents recycle their televisions we’re able to recover valuable materials, including metal wiring, glass, and plastics,” Howland said. “These materials can be used to make other electronic components or new products.”

All full-power broadcast television stations in the United States are scheduled to stop broadcasting on analog airwaves and begin broadcasting only in digital on June 12, 2009. Once the DTV transition goes into effect, residents who watch free, over-the-air television through a rooftop antenna or “rabbit ears” will need to obtain a digital-to-analog converter box, sign up for cable or satellite service, or buy a digital television.

“The DTV transition will enable consumers to enjoy improved picture and sound quality, plus more channels and programming,” said OCT Director Eric E. Richardson. Residents can learn more about the DTV transition by visiting the Federal Communications Commission's Web site at www.dtv.gov.

For a complete list of acceptable recyclables, visit www.dpw.dc.gov or call 311.