Millions of lead-filled CRTs have been abandoned in warehouses across America

Originally published at:


Locally, I think most e-waste is done in prisons…Which is why you really MUST remove a hard-drive before sending a computer for recycling.


Perhaps someone will capitalize on my idea for recycling these things: Take out the glass tubes and use them as bricks to build houses from. A row facing outside, a row facing inside, a row facing outside… they will nest very well, and have ridiculously good thermal insulation properties, since they will form a basically vacuum-filled double-paned glass wall a foot thick.


This is why we should look into using nanotech to do recycling. Pour all of the TVs, CRTs and so forth into a vat and let the nanobots dissemble them and make something else out of them.


I, for one, welcome our new nanobot assembled robotic overlords.


Pedant note: they are only lead leaching if you disassemble them into glass fragments, or get their innards wet. Intact CRTs are safe to handle.



Same thing happened with Tires “back in the day”… I remember reading an article a friend had up in his shop where an “Entrepreneur” came through and visited all the local tire shops claiming he had this great way to dispose of those tires for less than they were currently paying. So he’d pick up all their old tires weekly for $ / tire and give them their receipt. This went on for a while and then he just stopped showing up. No one could get a hold of him and so they went back to whatever recycler they’d been using.

And a month or so later, some poor warehouse owner is trying to figure out what to do with several warehouses full of tires that the last renter had filled them with.


Almost makes me want to get in the recycling business. I have a feeling that in Trump’s America, prosecuting abuse of the environment will be low on the list.


Good news! EPA to shut down in 2018. Problem: solved!


I always think of it as kind of a shame that CRTs fell out of fashion even though there are some very good power and weight reasons why they did. Nice lag (this is why you can’t get your zapper working on a modern tv,) the ability to actually scale resolution (anything but native resolution is gross on an LCD, any resolution scales nicely on a CRT,) plus the blur can actually help in a lot of cases.

…that actually could be fun to try and calculate: how much more computing power do we have to use these days to compensate for not using CRTs anymore?


I miss the Degauss button.

klik- BWWWWWWWooooommmmbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb


I just power cycled my CRT (1600x1200, 17 years old…why can’t we get good monitors anymore?) just to hear the noise.


I did it with my finger on the front just to feel the zap! :stuck_out_tongue:


it sounds like no one has come up with a cost effective and efficient means of recycling these things. that means the people who do are going to do quite well for themselves. I imagine you could get that waste for a song… great opportunity here.

1 Like

I’m sure Swarovski is on it!


Check your city for a free recycling day. Ours will have one once a year and they’ll take hard drives, TV’s, small electronics, and shred the drives on site. They’ll also shred all your document on site in front of your eyes.
Best Buy USED to take old CRTs for free…but not anymore.

1 Like

In my county technology recycling is every Wednesday. I’ve recycled hundreds of CRT TVs and monitors - not exaggerating, quite serious.

Luckily the ones I recycled were not lead-filled, or I wouldn’t have been able to lift them. :wink:


EDIT: Looking into what the county does with this stuff, it’s a pretty good bet that some of the monitors I’ve recycled are among the abandoned ones sitting in warehouses :frowning: .


Yup the lead is inside the funnel and there’s a coating on the outside to further protect it. The lead is why CRTs are so damn heavy as it’s required to keep the x-rays contained. There’s probably more lead passive exposure from the rest of the TV’s internal parts such as the circuit boards than the CRT itself.

There’s plenty of cost effective ways to do this – the thing is many of these cost effective ways are highly illegal or unethical.


“My god, it’s full of comedians!”
          - 2017: A CRT Odyssey