Some 10 million FLAT-SCREEN MONITORSflat-screen monitors will be sold this year, most replacing hulking, outdated models — which, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, are toxic waste. Most old monitors contain between four and nine pounds of lead (compare that to an ounce and a half in a can of old-fashioned lead paint), and dumping them illegally carries heavy penalties. You can’t just throw them out with the trash.

But from every quandary comes a business opportunity. NEC Mitsubishi, which makes one of the most popular flat screens, saw a chance to boost business while helping customers and the environment. The company’s Total Trade program buys back and fully recycles used monitors for flat-screen buyers.

“Total Trade has opened doors to new customers,” says program manager Lisa Ahern. “It’s often a requirement now to have a trade-in program when businesses ask for [price] quotes [on new equipment].”

Total Trade will take almost anything — old equipment, competitors’ monitors

— and to date, has disposed of some 10,000 monitors. For more info, visit and click on Total Trade at the bottom right.