As a nation, it is indisputable that we prefer to leave a gadget gathering dust under a bed or in a cupboard drawer, but that has now been verified through a survey conducted by Aviva.
£37 billion in unused gadgets sitting in UK homes
According to a study conducted by Aviva, there are an estimated £37 billion worth of unused gadgets gathering dust in Britain’s homes.
The study looked not only at the classic gadgetry that sits in drawers such as old mobile phones, tablets and handheld games consoles, but looked at kitchen appliances, electrical tools, gardening tools and grooming kits such as hair straighteners and Father’s Day favourite, nose clippers.
The usual suspects
The findings of the survey indicate we have on average 2.05 unused mobile phones per household, add the charger and accessories and that can add up to a lot of space in your home for electronics that can effectively be sold on or recycled.
We are also guilty of hoarding old entertainment units, with the average being 2.19 unused entertainment systems per household, this includes old games consoles, speakers and media players that we like to keep hold of.
Why do we like to keep old gadgets for so long, allowing them to devalue and decaying in function in our cupboards and drawers? There are many reasons, some feel a connection to the gadgetry, others convinced there will future use, some may be worried about the data it holds, and others might choose to keep it as a back-up or may be just unaware of the benefit of recycling or selling on.
In reality a high percentage of these gadgets will not be used again, and can be re-sold or recycled for money or vouchers, or even to give to charity.
What to do
There are many ways to see how much a gadget is worth, there are many recycling sites around both online and offline, and we recommend you go to Compare and Recycle to have a look at the price that a list of the UK’s top recyclers will offer you for your old gadgetry.
The reality is that a lot of the components within old gadgetry is still going to be valuable and worth the sum of their parts, and if that doesn’t convince you, a gadget placed in landfill can result in hazardous materials like mercury or lead getting into the ground or water supply.
Making sure you responsibly recycle old gadgetry should be a high priority, and that in itself should be worth making sure they do not end up in landfill, but instead get repurposed, reconditioned or recycled.