RALEIGH — There are worse problems than having to declare your television obsolete after finding a brand-new plasma set with a Christmas bow on it.
But for those who find themselves in such a situation, there are plenty of options for getting rid of your old TV, computer screen or even your toaster.
Does it work? Sell it or donate it to a thrift shop or charity that will sell it or redistribute it. Just don't dump it in the trash can. Tossing computer monitors, televisions and chip boards in Dumpsters can be environmentally unsound because of lead and other hazardous materials inside.
If it doesn't work, most Triangle-area landfills offer recycling for electronics and appliances.
Sanitation workers always see a spike in computers, televisions and electronics getting tossed after the holiday season, said Lowell Shaw, Wake County's solid waste facility manager.
People need to get used to recycling their electronics - a state law goes into effect in January 2011 that makes it illegal to dump electronics such as televisions and computer monitors in landfills, Shaw said.
Donating obsolete electronics leaves the smallest carbon footprint, said Linda Leighton, a waste reduction specialist for Raleigh.
"Rather than automatically recycling or putting it in the trash, we'd rather they find someplace to donate," Leighton said.