Britain's Got (Too Many) Electrons

27 May 2009

The British claim to recycle such materials as glass, plastic, and paper in higher numbers than the European average. But electronic waste? Not so much.

A survey by Dell of 5,000 people on what they do with their old electronic equipment found that only about half recycle them. In Germany it's more like 80%. Are we just going to sit there and let them be better than us at recycling?

A lack of awareness appears to be at the root of the problem, as does, oddly, geography. Four percent of Londoners claim to recycle electronics more than other rubbish, and awareness runs high in Scotland, too. However, the North East claims to be diligent about recycling, but only about 1 out of 100 actually recycles electronic waste.

If you need a bit of a carrot to go along with the stick of telling you you're a technology waster if you don't recycle electronics, you might check out sites like Fonebank. They pay for used mobile phones, depending on the model, even though you may find your handset's value somewhat appalling.

Oh, and you ladies aren't off the hook for electronics recycling. In the past week, Dell has revamped its much-criticised "Della" site and now gives the OK for females to go ahead and worry their pretty little heads about such matters.

[MRW]

7 comments

  • Paul
    Of course none of the article has anything to do with electricity...The UK is also generaly considered the second worst recycler in Europe, so I am not sure what exactly they are talking about in your source. What in the world has Della got to do with WEEE recycling?
  • cinoci
    "Of course none of the article has anything to do with electricity…The UK is also generaly considered the second worst recycler in Europe, so I am not sure what exactly they are talking about in your source. What in the world has Della got to do with WEEE recycling?" - Paul 10000% percent agree with paul.
  • Brad
    Can anyone else smell a cheap publicity stunt from a company jumping n the green bandwagon? Oh no maybe I just wiped my finger under my nose after it had been up my arse.
  • Vince W.
    thanks paul/cinoci title should have been in reference to electrons/electronics not electricity. edited, thanks
  • Jill
    electrons/electronics? What have electrons got to do with anything?
  • Liam
    electrons, or rather the flow of them, is defined as current(charge per second). So electrons are very appropriate for the title.
  • Nobby
    > However, the North East claims to be diligent about recycling, but only about 1 out of 100 actually recycles electronic waste. It's because we are tight, and don't throw away electronic goods or recycle them. We sell them at boot fairs, on ebay, etc. The word recycle seems now to mean demanufacture, not reuse. There are many other ways to recycle items other than demanufacture. I reuse old lemonade bottles and so on on our allotment, but none of this gets counted as recycling, as the local authorities cannot weigh the plastic waste.

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