Throwing away gadgets loses us £762m a year
Britons are throwing away a fortune by failing to realise how much their old gadgets are worth, according to new research which shows that more than 17 million devices worth a total of £762m are binned each year.
One in three adults sends a broken or functioning mobile phone, MP3 music player, satnav, games console or digital camera straight to landfill each year, according to mobile phone operator O2 – but the same items would fetch an average of £43.54 if they were taken to one of the growing number of recycling centres across the country.
Although some electronic gadgets contain hazardous contaminants such as lead and cadmium, it is not illegal to send them to landfill. However, against a backdrop of near record – and rising – commodity prices and growing environmental awareness, the pressure is on politicians, companies and consumers to recycle more discarded gadgets.
Sainsbury's, Boots, Asda and Royal Mail are among the companies that pay for used mobiles, satnavs, game consoles, digital cameras and MP3 players, as long as they are in reasonable condition.
Susanne Baker, senior policy advisor on climate change at EEF, the association representing British manufacturers, said throwing away electronic gadgets represented a huge waste.
"Electronic equipment in particular is rich with materials which are in high demand but scarce supply. We know many manufacturers are worried about securing stable supplies of these materials at the right price," she said.
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Ukip and Nigel Farage on the up over Maria Miller furore and 'Sexminster' culture
Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 1 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 2 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 3 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 4 What's in the safe? Man live-photographs cracking of mysterious locked box on Reddit
- 5 Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales, says whistleblower