Turning off your old TV

As the Aug. 31 deadline looms for local television stations to switch to digital from analog, residents are reminded they can recycle their old TVs at the Red Deer Waste Management Facility.

As the Aug. 31 deadline looms for local television stations to switch to digital from analog, residents are reminded they can recycle their old TVs at the Red Deer Waste Management Facility.

“We could see more TVs start coming out to the landfill but we do have a program in place to take them and recycle them,” said Janet Whitesnell, waste management superintendant.

The city is a designated collection site for Electronics Recycling, the provincial e-waste recycling program that diverts televisions, computers, printers and more from landfills.

There is no charge to drop off your electronics at the facility for recycling.

About 250 tonnes of electronic waste was recycled from the Red Deer landfill in 2010 and another 150 tonnes has been diverted so far this year.

Whitesnell, however, doesn’t expect to see a spike of televisions coming into the facility as most Canadians will not be impacted by the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission’s decision to switch to digital.

Those who receive TV signals by cable and satellite services will not be affected by the change to digital.

Viewers who still rely on an outdoor antenna — or rabbit ears — may see their screens turn to snow at the end of the month.

These individuals can either purchase a digital converter box, buy a digital TV, or subscribe to a cable, satellite or Internet-protocol service.

Future Shop in Red Deer carries one type of digital converter box that sells for $60.

The store has been receiving a number of calls concerning the move to digital but has not yet experienced an increase in television or converter box sales, said customer service representative Maurice Doyle.

Second hand stores in the city don’t anticipate that the switch will leave them with the burden of old television sets.

Value Village store manager Dave Barron said his store stopped accepting TVs that are not compatible with cable services two years ago.

“Nobody has wanted those forever,” he said.

DeVoe’s New and Used Furniture also hasn’t sold antenna sets for awhile.

“I haven’t been able to sell a set of rabbit ears for a long time,” said owner Dave Reinbold.

“I don’t expect (the switch) will bring anymore in because they will be non-functional.”

For more information about the switch to digital from analog, visit http://digitaltv.gc.ca.

ptrotter@bprda.wpengine.com