Unwanted TV's Too Expensive For Goodwill To Continue Accepting

By Addison Speck, Reporter

JOHNSON COUNTY, Iowa - If you have an old TV at home that you want to get rid of, don't take it to Goodwill. Starting July 1st, many area Goodwill stores will no longer accept television donations. "We've made this decision because the cost to dispose of those TV's have grown so much over the course of the year and there just isn't a customer demand for the televisions in our stores," said Dana Engelbert, VP of Goodwill of the Heartland Marketing.

People aren't buying what Goodwill is selling. Engelbert said a Fairfield Goodwill recently put all of their televisions on sale and still had trouble getting rid of them. "If you can't sell a television for $1.38, it's pretty obvious there just isn't the demand there for them," Engelbert said. People are looking for sleek, high definition, and the newest technology. Those TV's rarely make it to Goodwill.

The non-profit thrift store used to have a partnership that helped pay for recycling old sets. But that partnership ended, and paying the full cost of recycling old, donated, unwanted TV's, just doesn't make financial sense. In the past 5 months Goodwill of the Heartland has spent 150 thousand dollars disposing of unwanted TV's. "We would rather commit that to fund programs that help overcome barriers to independence," Engelbert said.


People with old TV's in Linn County do have an option- the Cedar Rapids/Linn County solid waste agency will accept them, at no cost to Linn County residents. "We have doubled, tripled, and quadrupled the amount of TV's coming in, Every month since we started taking them for free," said Joe Horaney, with the Solid Waste Agency. Every week hundreds of unwanted TV's pile into the waste agency. "Those TV's can have up to 8 pounds of leaded glass in just the screen alone, there is a lot of different metals inside those TV's. Those are the kind of things we want to keep out of the landfill," Horaney said.

The Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency will soon be one of the few options left after July first. That's when Goodwill officially stops accepting old TVs altogether. The County Home Road location in Marion will help you unload your TV's and electronics. The Mount Trashmore location will accept them, but you won't get help unloading them. For more information about dropping off unwanted TV's in Linn County, you can go here: click here. For more information about dropping off unwanted TV's and Fee's in Johnson County, you can go here: click here.

Goodwill locations impacted by this change are: Bettendorf, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Clinton, Coralville, Davenport, Fairfield, Iowa City, Marion, Moline, Muscatine, Rock Island and Washington; and donation centers in Cedar Rapids and DeWitt. The store will continue to accept computer monitors and other related electronics gear.
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