How to recycle An Old Satellite TV or Internet Dish

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recycle An Old Satellite TV

More and more Americans have cut the cord and transitioned to online streaming services. An unforeseen byproduct of that trend has been a mountain of unwanted satellite dishes taken up precious space in our landfills. With that in mind, let us explore recycling options for your old satellite dish.

Recycling Is an Option

The vast majority of unneeded satellite dishes are being tossed into the garbage rather than recycled, and a chief reason for that is that most people are unaware that you can actually recycle them. The metal and plastic that make up a satellite dish can be recycled as raw materials, but even the internal electronics can be repurposed in many cases. That does mean that a satellite dish is an electronic waste, which also means that not all recycling outfits will be able to accept your old satellite dish.

How to Recycle Your Old Satellite Dish

If applicable, first check with your municipal recycling pickup service. Many modern municipal services do handle e-waste recycling for appliances and the like. Be sure to indicate clearly that the dish is intended for recycling per the rules in your town. Otherwise, the collectors may not know any better.

If municipal recycling of e-waste is not an option for you, your next step should be to contact your satellite provider—yes, the one you just terminated service with. Most satellite providers—including the major players like Dish and DirecTV—have recycling programs in place. In some cases, they will even send someone to your house to collect the old dish. In the worst case, they will at least be able to inform you of the e-waste recycling centers that are in close proximity to your home or workplace.

You Have Retail Options Too

Many people do not realize that there are major retail locations that participate in nationwide recycling programs and that can accept your old satellite dish. The two most notable businesses that will surely be available to you are Best Buy and The UPS Store. Be mindful that what e-waste these stores can collect does vary from location to location. We recommend calling first and have all the pertinent information on hand in case they ask, such as the make and model number of your particular dish.

Online Recycler Locator

If all else fails, you can use a recycler locator online, such as the one found on the Earth911 website. You can also call 1-800-CLEANUP to access the same service via phone. This search engine will provide you locations that can accept the material you want to recycle prioritized based on their proximity to your residence or whichever address you provide. It will also list recycling services that will come to you, such as LoadUp. But keep in mind that those companies often charge a fee, and the average fee is $80.

Do Not Forget About Upcycling

For those who are unfamiliar, upcycling is the reuse of objects and materials that would otherwise be discarded, and the term often implies that there is a certain amount of creativity in the reuse. In fact, on some social media platforms, there are entire communities dedicated to the creative reuse of old satellite dishes. One particular group paints them with a non-toxic coating and then transforms them into birdbaths that are attractive enough to serve as the centerpiece of a backyard garden.

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