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Recycle Technologies has been delivering recycling services to the community since 1993. As a recycling and shredding company based in the Midwest, we operate licensed facilities in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Notably, Recycle Technologies stands as the sole Minority-Owned document destruction and recycling enterprise in the Midwest region.

Monitor Recycling Pt 1 Why is it hard to recycle old monitors

September 26, 2023
Since the introduction of recycling, we have experienced a tremendous change in the way things are...

Common Misconception about Monitor Recycling 

Since the introduction of recycling, we have experienced a tremendous change in the way things are disposed of Multiple trash cans are needed for diverse types of recyclable materials. However, normal recycling bins cannot be used for electronics recycling. Recycling and e-recycling are not the same thing. The collection of most electronics is prohibited by municipal recycling programs, landfills, and incinerators. According to the DNR, most electronics include toxic elements like lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium, other heavy metals, and chemical flame retardants, which can pollute and endanger groundwater, air, oil, and humans.  

Similarly, monitors also have multiple such dangerous materials that need to be properly extracted and either disposed of or recycled depending on the rarity.  

Which kind of Monitors do we Recycle? 

Monitors have evolved over the years as technology has progressed. The components that were a necessity at the beginning are nothing but a nuisance now, so companies have moved to better alternatives. Old Monitors use gold as it is a better conductor of electricity. However, gold has become expensive and for that sole reason companies are using better alternatives. 

Each type of monitor requires a unique way of recycling and precautions to consider while monitor recycling. The distinct types of monitors used, and their recycling are mentioned below. 

CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) Monitors 

Throughout the mid-to-late 1900s, cathode-ray tubes were widely employed in televisions and computer monitors. A CRT monitor is an analog display technology that generates a visible image on the screen by passing three electron beams over millions of phosphor dots, causing them to light up. CRT-based computer monitors and televisions have big, heavy physical enclosures. 

Legitimate Concerns in CRT Monitor Recycling

CRT monitors raise some serious health and safety issues. It does emit X-ray radiation, but only in trace amounts that are regulated by the FDA. Even when a CRT is turned off, it contains a large amount of electrical charge. Breaking or attempting to dismantle a CRT display without the necessary tools and training might result in a serious electrical shock. 

Puncturing the vacuum tube in the monitor will cause an implosion, spraying glass shards everywhere. Toxic chemicals, including mercury, are included in CRT monitors and can leak out if the display breaks. CRT funnels may include 21 to 25% lead oxide (PbO), the neck may contain 30 to 40% lead oxide, and the screen may contain 12% barium oxide and 12% strontium oxide. If you have an old CRT monitor that you no longer want, it is not safe to throw it away. As a result, if monitor recycling is not carried out, they can be identified as a hazard. 

Monitor Recycling

LCD Monitors 

A liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor is a type of computer monitor or display that employs LCD technology to produce vivid images. They are commonly found in laptop computers and flat panel monitors. In color and picture quality, and the ability to support high resolutions, LCD clearly outperforms CRT. 

Why do LCD Monitors need to be recycled?

There is evidence that LCD screens use mercury to generate visible light during the viewing process. It is the explanation for the possibility of vapors escaping where the screen becomes damaged. While mercury levels are normally low, there is a risk of allergic responses, skin rashes, and potentially birth abnormalities.  

When inhaled or swallowed, these hazardous compounds can accumulate in the body and cause toxic consequences, potentially leading to digestive disorders and other health concerns. LCDs, like batteries, wiring, or gasoline, can emit hazardous fumes when burned. Monitor recycling helps us to reduce these hazards. 

LED Monitors 

An LED monitor, often known as a light-emitting diode monitor, is a flat-screen computer monitor or television. LED monitors are less expensive than CRT monitors and have a wider dimming range and higher dynamic contrast ratio. They use less power than an LCD and have a much longer lifespan. 

The Shortcomings of LED Monitors

The design and case of the LED monitors is very robust which can be a problem when it comes to recycling. The compositions of the materials used in LED monitors are as dangerous after use as it is useful during their lifetime. To ensure that it is properly dealt with, and the important recyclable components are extracted, the LED monitors are given to recyclers. 

How to perform Monitor Recycling? 

Electronic components and modules account for around 15% of the LED display and are easily recycled at a competent recycling plant. Metals from circuit boards, for example, are retrieved, and the plastic, metal, and little mechanical motor that comprise the fans are separated and recycled separately.  

Plastics account for approximately 9% of the LED display and are used in display components such as casings and louvers. Plastics can be recycled in practically any recycling facility. In addition, after the insulation is removed, a typical LED display contains around 2000 meters (about 1.24 mi) of recyclable gold or copper wire. 

However, the monitor recycling process is a very troublesome procedure which requires experts and professionals to complete it. So, instead of taking a chance to extract the elements, give away your old LED monitors to Recycle Technologies and get your certificate. 

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