Melbourne Analogue TV switchoff - 10 Dec 2013

As 10 December passes, masses of analogue TV sets in Melbourne will be assigned to the scrap heap.

Analogue / CRT TV sets are now a common sight on naturestrips, where they sometimes sit for weeks at a time, undisturbed. Nobody would want to give them a new home. The only people interested are those collecting scrap metal/copper, who brutally smash open the back cabinet to salvage the copper wire from the deflection coils around the CRT.

The transition to digital TV will cause massive amounts of TV e-waste to be generated in Melbourne from mid-december 2013. Unfortunately, there have been no real public awareness campaigns for the recycling (or proper disposal) of old TVs, so often they end up sitting on naturestrips for many months. Many city councils have not prepared for this. A special hard waste collection programme should have been planned for mid December 2013 in anticipation of the mass dumping of TVs.

For those who feel it is too much of a loss to toss their beloved analogue TV, they can buy a set top box. For those who have left it to the last minute, they will add to the booming sales of set top boxes, which will hit a peak days after 10 December, then gradually taper off.

Hundreds of thousands of new digital TVs will be sold in the leadup to Christmas 2013 as people adapt to the change. A major change in the TV broadcast system has led to an even more massive change in consumer equipment, which leads to more carbon emissions - new TVs need to be manufactured, and old ones recycled. The embodied carbon in these TVs (from manufacturing) could be millions of tons. Not to mention the extra car trips people will make to buy a new TV, which also contributes to carbon dioxide.


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