DIY Friday: Recycle Your Old TV

On trash days, there seem to be lots of old TVs at the curb. Then, on cardboard recycling days, plenty of boxes from big LCD and Plasma TVs. Kind of makes sense to me. 

Hey, instead of just throwing them out, think about recycling/repurposing them. Take, for instance, this working fish tank inside an old floor model…


 Here’s a "top ten ways to recycle an old TV," courtesy of

1. Recycle- Televisions can contain lead, mercury, cadmium and other dangerous materials and if disposed of improperly these materials will leak into the soil. This may seem like an obvious option but many people don’t even know that television recycling exists. Even if you decide to keep the TV and just remove its guts look for a proper way to recycle the insides. Most major retailers and manufactures are working to increase television recycling awareness. Go to Earth 911 or Plug-in to eCycling for recycling locations and more information.

2. Donate- Schools especially could use the extra TV love. Most schools have televisions in class rooms on closed circuits or use them to show movies and National Geographic specials. Old TVs will still work with DVD players and VCRs.

3. Give it to the Kids- How many times can you stand to watch Disney DVDs? Put the old set in the kids’ room and let them watch their favorite DVDs and you can have a few moments of peace and quiet.

4. Make an Aquarium- You know you’ve always wanted to make your television into a fish tank. Now is your chance.

5. Use it as an End Table- Those with really old sets that have large wooden enclosures know exactly what this means.

6. Make Art- If people made toilets into art, who’s to say that an old television set can’t be made into art? Use your imagination people.

7. Build a Coffee Table- Turn your television on its back, stabilize, place a piece of glass over top and voila´ you have a coffee table. Hey, you could even hook up a DVD player and have movies play or picture slide shows.

8. Build a Tesla Coil- Take extreme caution if attempting this task. As a matter of fact, forget we ever suggested building a Tesla Coil. They are dangerous and this should only be attempted by professionals.

9. Build a Video Game Machine- For those that like to combine construction and technology you can build an old arcade type console and hook up an old Nintendo or Sega. Pac-Man rules!

10. Make a Planter- Yeah, that’s right, carefully gut the television and make a fun flower planter.


 Personally, I like’s Top 5, such as this wave vessel: