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How to Dispose of a Projector Properly & Safely?


The world of projector technology is ever-evolving, with modern models being manufactured every so often. But with this comes several challenges. 

Your projector may become outdated or no longer function properly, forcing you to dispose of it. However, it is crucial to keep the environment clean and safe even as you dispose of electronic equipment, including projectors. 

Most projectors still have components that contain hazardous materials such as mercury that can cause harm to both you and the environment.

What can you do with old projectors?

an old projector

Many disposal facilities and charities may not take specific projectors that are considered to be environmentally unfriendly. 

However, if your old projector is still functional but you are looking to replace it with a new one, several options are available. 

If the projector is broken without light here you should consider donating at a local electronics donation dropoff.  It is best to coordinate with your local trash collection service to find out where the closest electronics donation center is in your area.

Read on to find out a few things that you can do with your old projector that still has a working bulb:

Create seasonal scenes

Christmas theme projected on the screen

Project an animated scene or digital decoration using your old LED projector and a DVD player to create a Halloween or Christmas theme to mark your occasion. 

These images can give an illusion of a 3D projection without calling for viewers to wear any 3D glasses. It is a fun way to make use of your old projector.

Create an information radiator

Use your old projector to create an information radiator to pass messages to the readers with fewer interruptions easily. With an information radiator, you can see information that concerns you without asking anyone a question.

Using your old projector to create an information radiator can prove an ideal and creative way of providing updates, sharing reminders, giving event highlights, and sharing reminders, especially during an event. 

Paint a mural

Artograph Super Prism Opaque Art Projector with 2 Lenses for Image Reduction and Enlargement  (Not Digital)
Click image for more info

You can create a mural using your old projector by projecting a high-contrast image that is black and white on a wall. 

Using a pencil, trace the outline of the projected image. Once the outline is complete, make it fun by inviting people to fill in the mural using paint.

Create a laser light show with a music background

laser show projected by the projector

You can use your old projector to create light shows with eye-catching effects for your next event. 

With the help of a variety of free open source software available online, creating laser light shows with a music background for your events has been simplified.

Are overhead projectors recyclable?

Apollo Overhead Projector, Horizon 2, 2000 Lumen Output, 10" x 10", Open Head (V16000M)
Click image for more info

The short answer is yes. Some components of an overhead projector can be melted down and reused. 

Through this process, a big chunk of your old overhead projector can be recycled. This, in turn, reduces e-waste from polluting the environment.

Are projector bulbs hazardous waste?

Yes. Most projector bulbs contain harmful materials. These contents may cause environmental degradation, and as a result, the Environmental Protection Agency classifies projector bulbs as hazardous waste.

Do projector bulbs contain mercury?

A projector bulb contains traces of mercury that are in vapor form and under pressure. If the bulb is broken, the vaporized mercury can escape posing a severe health risk.

How to properly and safely dispose of a projector.

Many projectors comprise components with contents that have been classified as hazardous waste by the Environmental Protection Agency. 

As much as you may be tempted to chuck your burnt-out projector in the trash, the EPA has established clear guidelines to minimize environmental damage that may be caused by improper disposal of hazardous waste such as projectors. 

So what are some of the ways that you can use to dispose of your projector correctly and safely? 

a donation paper box

You can give your old projector away as a donation to a charitable organization or a budget-constrained organization. Many NGOs in the education space require projectors to assist them in conducting learning. 

Some of these organizations can even pick up the old projector from your home or office, depending on where you are located and the organization’s policies. 

Sell it for parts

Sell parts for money

Search to identify people and businesses that may require parts of your old projector to use in their devices. 

Check for what is in demand from auction sites online to find suitable orders to enable you to dismantle the projector and sell it for parts. 

There is often high demand for projector parts online. This is because of the high costs involved in the purchase of new projector parts.

Use a disposal service.

disposal service truck in graphic

Identify a certified e-waste recycling company that accepts old projectors. These waste management companies can easily dispose of your device or refurbish it to make new products. 

You may be required to either take your projector to the company’s facility, or the company may send you a box that you can use to ship the projector. 

Most companies handle the cost of shipping your device to the designated facility.

Dispose of through a nonprofit organization

Some nonprofit organizations allow their members to receive and give electronics, including projectors. 

Once you have joined the organization, you may be required to send an email expressing your willingness to offer your projector to other members. 

You also have the choice to pick a specific individual or nonprofit organization that you wish your projector to go to. 

Trade-in

Many manufacturers today offer trade-in arrangements for different projector models. 

You can identify a deal that works best for you and trade in your old or outdated projector to upgrade to the latest model in the market.

Some companies even go the extra mile by allowing you to upgrade your projector in addition to you receiving cash for the old one.

Why it is crucial to dispose of projectors properly

save the environment by recycling

Here are some of the best reasons to dispose of your old projectors the right way:

Protects the environment

Electronic waste is a major environmental issue, not only for individuals but also for corporations. 

When projectors are thrown in the dumpster or end up in a landfill, they are bound to break, releasing the vaporized mercury contained in the lamps. This hazardous substance can easily leach into waterways, causing a significant health risk.

Supports non-renewable recycling

Many of the materials used to make projectors can be reused again. Certified recyclers can use large amounts of these resources from old projectors and turn them into new products. 

Shows your eco-friendly credentials

In today’s world, most employees want to be associated with companies that play their part in protecting the environment. 

Proper disposal of e-waste is, therefore, a tangible demonstration of your commitment to environmental and social values both at an individual and organizational level.

Avoiding fines and legal prosecution

Some local jurisdictions and states have set stringent regulations regarding electronic waste disposal. 

These have been set as a measure to reduce the amount of e-waste that finds its way to landfills. 

Not abiding by these regulations can land you or your company in the payment of huge fines to the authorities.

Conclusion

a better future for e-waste

Unfortunately, when projectors reach their end-life, only a tiny percentage are recycled, with the rest ending up in landfills. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 20-50 million metric tons of electronic waste end up in landfills each year

This is a point of concern since projectors have components that are considered toxic, particularly those that contain mercury. 

It is therefore crucial that projectors are disposed of in a proper and safe manner that is not harmful to both people and the environment.

 A number of communities have centers that allow recycling or trade-ins of projectors. If there is no local center available near you, you can always identify one online and ship your projector for proper disposal.


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