Press Release: 01.31.08

Make It A Picture Perfect Valentine’s Day
SVTC Encourages Responsible Recycling Leading Up To DTV Switch

San Jose, CA. January 31, 2008 – Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC), a leading organization focused on building a sustainable toxic-free high tech industry, today announced the “Tune In” campaign to raise awareness for the environmental consequences of the digital television (DTV) switchover. The campaign kicks off on Valentine’s Day, a year before the switchover goes into effect on February 17, 2009.

As the U.S. television industry switches its broadcasting format from analog to digital, an estimated 80 million televisions will be rendered obsolete. Consumers without cable or satellite service will have to buy a DTV converter box or replace their analog TV with a new one featuring a built-in digital tuner.

“When people get rid of their old TVs, many don’t think twice about what happens to them afterwards,” said Sheila Davis, Executive Director, Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition. “When you consider that TVs contain hazardous chemicals, the result is not a pretty picture.”

TVs contain 3-5 pounds of lead as well as other harmful chemicals like cadmium and beryllium.

The Bigger Picture
Only a small percentage of the nation’s e-waste is responsibly recycled. The vast majority is shipped to countries such as China, India and Nigeria where villagers dismantle computers, televisions and other electronic devices in unsafe conditions that pollute the air, and water of some communities. E-waste is also sent to U.S. prisons for dismantlement or dumped in landfills.

This Valentine’s Day, pledge to recycle responsibly. If you plan to upgrade your TV, consider the following options from SVTC:

* Donate: If your old TV still works, give it to an organization that can use it.
* Recycle: If your TV is beyond use or repair, find a responsible recycler. Or call the manufacturer of your TV to ask if they will take it back and recycle it responsibly.

Tune In
To learn more about the DTV switchover and what you can do in February, please visit

About Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition is a diverse organization engaged in research, advocacy, and grassroots organizing to promote human health and environmental justice in response to the rapid growth of the high-tech industry. For more information, go to