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Consumers Plan To Sell, Donate Or Recycle 95 Percent Of Unused Analog TVs Following The DTV Transition


Questions of what will happen to millions of analog TVs following next year’s transition to digital television (DTV) have been answered with news that is also good for the environment, according to a new study released today by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)®. Indeed, results of the study, Trends in Consumer Electronics (CE) Afterlife show that households receiving broadcast signals only over-the-air (OTA) expect to remove fewer than 15 million televisions from their homes through 2010, ninety-five percent of which will be sold, donated or recycled. Most OTA-only households expect to buy a digital converter box (48%) and continue using the same TV.

“Consumers are far more likely to recycle, reuse, give away or sell analog TVs than throw them away,” says CEA’s Senior Director of Market Research Tim Herbert. “While some have speculated that millions of TVs would enter the waste stream, this new study suggests that is not the case.”

Recycling is an increasingly common way to dispose of unused TVs. In fact, according to the survey, consumers report recycling nearly 30 percent more TVs in 2007 than in 2005. That trend also extends to other CE categories. While only three percent more devices were removed from homes in 2007, twenty-seven percent more devices were recycled. At the same time, the number of CE products that end up in the trash is decreasing-down 7 percent from two years earlier.

“We see a very positive trend developing when it comes to CE afterlife,” notes Herbert. “A full 87 percent of consumers say it’s important to recycle their CE devices. Not only is traditional recycling an increasingly popular option for consumers, but the vast majority of consumers report that they give away or sell unused devices, which is also a form of recycling.”

Among those consumers that did report throwing away a TV in the last year, 42 percent reported that they weren’t aware of recycling programs for electronics.

“It’s terrific to see more consumers being more thoughtful and proactive about the responsible disposal of their electronics devices,” added Herbert. “However, there is still much to be done in terms of educating consumers about the options for electronics recycling.”

CEA’s consumer website, educates consumers about the responsible use, reuse and recycling of electronics and also includes a zip-code searchable database of electronics recyclers.

Consumer electronics recycling will be a point of discussion at CEA’s upcoming Washington Forum, to be held April 2-3, 2008 at the JW Marriott in Washington, D.C. In the Thursday 2-3 p.m. session Analog Sets and Recycling, a panel of experts will discuss consumer behavior and what the CE industry is doing to educate consumers about the importance of recycling TVs. For registration information, please visit


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