Old-style TVs and computer monitors contain toxic glass that can end up destroying our landfills if we don’t start finding new uses, according to scientists.
Break open an old TV and check out that funnel-shaped thing. That is a CRT (cathode ray tube) and it is heading out of the mainstream as fast as the floppy disk and video cassette did.
These CRTs are constructed from heavy glass which contains lead. This glass is marked as hazardous in most of America and Europe.
Some developing countries still have a need for this resource, but with the lowering cost of LED and plasma TVs, demand for CRTs will fall off there as well.
Ultimately, the amount of crushed CRT remains will far outweigh the demand, and these toxic screens may find their way into landfills. This balance of supply vs. demand is expected to flip-flop within five years.
The solution is to find creative ways to use this waste. One suggestion is to utilize the crushed glass in concrete or road fill, but the main goal is to extract the hazardous components from the product in the first place.
If we could get that accomplished, the remaining glass could be used for hundreds of different things.