Electronics Recycling - How to Recycle Old Home Theater Gear

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

Electronics Recycling Center
Electronics Recycling Center. Image provided by Getty Images - Dan Nichols - Collection E+

One concern of both environmentalists and consumer electronics manufacturers is what to do with the increasing number of electronics, such as old analog televisions (as a result of the analog to digital TV transition), DVD players, PCs and other gear that is being disposed of. 

As a result, there is a growing number of electronics recycling programs being implemented by communities, retailers and manufacturers. Even exploding gadgets are welcome in recycling centers 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. 

Make Your Old Home Theater System a Secondary System

Man Listening to Vintage Stereo Setup
Man Listening to Vintage Stereo Setup. Image provided by Getting Images - MoMo Productions - 652746786

Here is a very practical use for your old home theater audio/video gear. Once you have finished 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.

Give Relatives Your Audio and Video Equipment Hand-me-downs

Watching the TV
Watching the TV. Image provided by Getty Images - urbancow - Collect E+ - 157339625

When I was in high school, I was really into audio and was always on the lookout for anything that might work to add some "class" to my room environment. Needless to say, I had a habit poking around my relatives' garages to see if there was an old amplifier or radio that I could "borrow". If you have a young relative that you know is a "gadget guru" or an aspiring audio or videophile, this may be a great way to find a good home for your old audio and video gear.

Give Away or Sell Old Audio and Video Equipment to Friends

Free TV on Curb
Free TV on Curb. Image provided by Getty Images - Juj Winn - Moment Open Collection - 481202633

Do you have friends constantly coming over to enjoy your home theater system? If so, when you upgrade, a close friend might give your old gear a great home, and they may be very appreciative. If you don't want the hassle of putting up your old gear for sale to strangers, why not consider selling, or giving some of your old audio video equipment a close friend?

Donate Your Old Audio and Video Equipment

Recycling TVs
Recycling TVs. Image provided by Getty Images - Mark Trigalous - Photographer's Choice

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 could would like some gear that could provide entertainment. Even consider your old VHS tapes, if all they are doing is collecting dust. You might donate your gear to an organization, such as the Salvation Army or Goodwill, for resale in their thrift stores. Depending on the value of your donated gear, you might also qualify for a Federal Income Tax Deduction, and these days, any way to lower your taxes is a good thing.

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

Stuff For Cash!
Stuff For Cash!. Image provided by Getty Images - emyerson - E+ colllection - 157618024

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.

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 on eBay. 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. Check out eBay for more details.

Consumer Electronics Association - Greener Gadgets.org

If you want to be more eco-conscious, but don't know where to start, Greener Gadgets.org is a great place to check out. The website is sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), the same folks that put on the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

This site has extensive resources, including how to find a local electronics recycling center in your area and an energy calculator that can give you a good idea on how much energy your home theater gear and appliances consume. There are also tips on buying green, emerging technology trends and more. For further details, go directly to Greener Gadgets.org.

The Sony Recycling Program

If you don't want to try the above recycling options, many manufacturers and retailers are providing consumers with recycling opportunities for their old audio and video products. Initially created to deal with the disposal of large numbers of analog televisions as result of the 2009 DTV transition, Sony is also now including other electronics products in its recycling program. For more details, check out the Official Sony Recycle Website.

LG, Panasonic, Samsung, and Toshiba Recycling Programs

LG, Panasonic, Samsung and Toshiba are other manufacturers that have 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. In addition, be sure to also check out the LG and Samsung recycling programs.

The Best Buy Recycling Program

Giant consumer electronics retailer Best Buy has an active recycling program that also including kitchen appliances. Check out the Official Recycling Website.

The U.S. Post Office Recycling Program

This recycling program emphasizes small items, such as ink cartridges, batteries, ​m​p​3 Players, and other small electronics-related items. For more details on how this program works, check out The Official Post Office Recycling Page.

The Office Depot and Staples Recycling Programs

The Office Depot Recycling program provides consumers with a special box to pack recycling goods for acceptance at any Office Depot Location. The Staples recycling program emphasizes cell phones, batteries, and ink cartridges. Here are the details of the Staples program.