If you're still holding onto an old desktop, you might be wondering how to recycle computer monitors. Many people who make the switch to LCD monitors or laptops might have old cathode ray monitors in their house. However, throwing them out isn't an option. Monitors of all kinds, from cathode ray to LCD, have toxic metals inside that can seriously harm the environment.
Instead, it's recommended that you repurpose, sell, or recycle the monitors. There are many ways to go about this, including upcycling projects to create new items for use around the home or selling them to make a small profit. If you can't make a buck off your old monitor, electronics recycling is always an option. With a reliable electronics recycling service, you can send it away, knowing that it will be handled appropriately.
Whether you choose to turn your old monitor into a DIY project, sell it online, or recycle it, you have options. If you're not sure where to start, here are some tips on how to sell, repurpose, and recycle your monitor safely.
Repurposing Computer Monitors
If you have an interest in tech, want to indulge your thrifty side, or are merely interested in trying something new, repurposing your old monitor is a great idea. Even if you're not sure how to go about it, you can find guides online that will walk you through the process. Try one of these ideas to get you started.
- Try your hand at Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi offers computers the size of a credit card that can help you make the most of your old monitor in several ways. You can pair your Raspberry Pi with your old monitor and follow the step-by-step projects detailed on their website to create a desktop computer, a retro gaming console, a digital recipe book, a clock, and more.
- Make a DIY secret monitor. By cutting out the polarizing film in the monitor and putting it in a pair of glasses, you can create a secret monitor. Anyone looking over your shoulder won't be able to see anything, but once you put the polarizing lenses on, you can see your monitor display.
- Turn it into a smart mirror. This project requires a Raspberry Pi and some other materials and is an excellent project if you're interested in having a smart-home item with a smart-budget price tag.
- Use it as a TV. If you have the right kind of monitor, you can attach some speakers and a cable box and use it as a television. This works especially well for those with large monitors lying around.
Selling Computer Monitors
If your monitor still functions, you may be able to sell it and turn a small profit. Even old CRT monitors can fetch you money. The key is finding the best venue in which to sell your monitor and pricing it correctly. Luckily, some sites can help you pin down what to charge for your second hand monitor or laptop.
A rule of thumb is that you should never sell monitors for the same price as a retailer, and never price a monitor above another of the same size. When it comes to screens, bigger is better in most people's eyes. If you're trying to sell a small monitor for the same price as a larger one, people are going to opt for the larger one, every time.
It's also essential that you show proof of function in your photos. Plug the monitor in, and display photos to prove that it works properly. People aren't going to put in the time or effort to buy if they aren't sure that they'll be getting a working product.
Your best bet is to list your monitor in an online marketplace, like Facebook or Craigslist. You can also try selling it to a secondhand store, or even donate it to someone less fortunate. Some schools and libraries will accept monitors so they can facilitate computer-learning opportunities. If you know where to look, there's no harm in searching around for potential buyers or takers.
Recycling Computer Monitors
If the monitor is broken or otherwise unusable, you might have a harder time selling it. Selling a monitor can also take some time if it doesn't garner immediate interest, and you might not have the time or patience to deal with the selling or donating process.
In that case, recycling your monitor is your best bet. Simply throwing it out isn't an option. Many curbside garbage programs won't accept electronics like televisions or monitors, and even if they do, there's no guarantee that the monitor won't be shipped overseas or tossed in a landfill. While it might be out of your hair, it will be causing serious damage to the environment.
For that reason, recycling programs are your best option for disposal. Responsible electronic recycling programs are equipped to deal with the toxic metals inside, keeping them out of landfills and e-waste piles.
Finding An Electronics Recycling Service
You can search for e-waste recycling programs online and should know that most reputable e-waste recyclers will charge a fee for this service. Many electronics are not built with recycling in mind, which makes them difficult to strip down and re-use. The process is expensive, and many responsible recycling services rely on these fees to continue operating and make a profit.
In fact, if an e-waste service is offering free recycling, you should be suspicious. They might have ulterior motives, ship the electronics overseas to be dumped elsewhere, or both. Make sure you research whom you're giving your monitors and computers to, and remember that every electronic that's responsibly recycled is one that can't harm the environment.
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