How to Recycle Old Home Theater Electronics

Recycling tips for your old TV and other audio and video equipment

What to Know

  • Retailers like Best Buy, Office Depot, and Staples all have recycling programs.
  • Consider using your old components to set up a second system in another room.
  • You can also try donating old equipment to schools, churches, or nonprofits like Goodwill and Salvation Army.

Communities, retailers, and manufacturers are implementing a growing number of electronics recycling programs. Even exploding gadgets are welcome these days. On the other hand, there are ways other than recycling to make use of old or discarded audio and video products that may be piling up in your garage. Check out some useful tips on how you can recycle old home theater electronics equipment. 

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Make Your Old Home Theater System a Secondary System

Man Listening to Vintage Stereo Setup

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After you finish your new home theater setup, take your old components and set up a second system in another room. Your old gear might be the perfect fit for the bedroom, home office, or family recreation room. Also, if you have an enclosed patio, you might find your gear works there as well. If you have always wanted to redo your garage or basement as a home entertainment room, recycling your old audio and video gear in such an environment might be a great way to add some fun for the family.

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Give Away or Sell Old Audio and Video Equipment to Friends

Free TV on Curb
Free TV on Curb.

Juj Winn/Moment Open Collection/Getty Images

When you upgrade, a close friend might give your old gear a great home, and they may be very appreciative. If your friends don't your old gear, consider selling or trading your old audio and video equipment.

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Donate Your Old Audio and Video Equipment

Recycling TVs

Mark Trigalous/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

A donation is a practical, as well as a socially satisfying, way to give your old audio/video equipment a new home. Check with a local school, church, or community organization to see if they would like some gear that could provide entertainment. You might donate your gear to an organization such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill for resale in their thrift stores.

If you copied your old VHS tapes to DVD, consider donating those VHS tapes if all they are doing is collecting dust.

Depending on the value of your donated gear, you might qualify for a federal income tax deduction, and these days, any way to lower your taxes is a good thing.

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Sell Your Old Home Theater Equipment at a Garage or Yard Sale

Stuff For Cash!

emyerson/E+ Collection/Getty Images

Everybody loves a good deal, and although garage sales have a lot of junk, they can also hide some gems. One item that is popular at garage sales is loudspeakers. If they are not damaged, you may find that you can sell them very easily if you price them right. Before you decide on a sale price for your speakers or other electronics gear, you might want to do a little detective work on the web and see if that equipment is selling and what it might be worth.

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Sell Your Old Home Theater Equipment on eBay

This is a very popular method of selling products, and many people actually make a lucrative living off selling items on eBay. Sometimes, what you think isn't worth much may end up getting some very high bids. If you are adventurous and have a little time, you might try this method of selling your old gear and see what results you get.

In addition to eBay, check out other options for selling your old electronics gear.

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Consumer Electronics Association and Greener

Check out Greener The website is sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association, the same folks that put on the annual Consumer Electronics Show.

This site offers extensive resources, including how to find a local electronics recycling center and an energy calculator that can give you a good idea of how much energy your home theater gear and appliances consume.

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LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Toshiba Recycling Programs

Panasonic Recycling Program


LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Toshiba joined in on the green revolution with their own consumer electronics recycling programs. Check out the Panasonic Recycling Program. Toshiba also participates in Best Buy's on-location drop-off site recycling events. For more details, check out the Toshiba Recycling Program website and the LG and Samsung recycling programs.

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The Best Buy Recycling Program

Best Buy Recycling Program


Giant consumer electronics retailer Best Buy runs a recycling program that also encompasses kitchen appliances.

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The U.S. Post Office Recycling Program

USPS Recycling Program


The USPS recycling program emphasizes small items, such as ink cartridges, batteries, mp3 players, and other small electronics-related items.

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The Office Depot and Staples Recycling Programs

Staples Recycling Program


The Staples recycling program emphasizes cellphones, batteries, and ink cartridges. The Office Depot Recycling program provides consumers with a special box to pack recycling goods for acceptance at any Office Depot location.

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