TechCollect has urged Australians to consider the environmental impact of not recycling their electronic waste as new research reveals almost half of us are holding onto unused or broken electronic devices "just in case"
Carmel Dollisson, Chief Executive Officer, TechCollect, says that "the challenge is encouraging consumers to let go of old devices they are no longer using or which are actually broken beyond repair. Although devices can hold sentimental value, the non-renewable resources in them can be used in manufacturing when recycled correctly."
“Our new research tells us the average Australian household has approximately 17 electronic devices in the home and yet only 23 per cent of us are always recycling them. With the consumption of electronic devices getting higher all the time, it’s crucial consumers look at e-waste recycling as the natural next step in the product lifecycle, especially when it no longer serves its purpose to them.”
TechCollect's survey found that 1 in 5% respondents admit to being hoarders of old electronic devices. When asked why they don’t recycle their e-waste, 52% said they are worried they’ll lose personal data.
Other reasons included not knowing where to recycle e-waste (83%) not knowing it could be recycled (60%) and not wanting to pay to have their device properly recycled (58%).
Personal data was highlighted multiple times as a key concern for respondents. 64% of respondents stated they don’t recycle their e-waste because they worry their data will get into the wrong hands. The same question received a response of 39% in 2015, indicating that security concerns have risen in recent years
The survey also explored respondents’ feelings of responsibility and guilt about e-waste. 74% of e-waste recyclers said they did so because they feel responsible for the e-waste they produce. In comparison, 18% of respondends who didn't recycle their e-waste said they felt guilty about it.
TechCollect noted that "apathy is a problem too", with the research showing 31% "don’t really think about it."
“These findings are promising. They tell us most people feel responsible for the e-waste they produce and do feel an element of guilt when they choose not to recycle it. But the sad reality is many people just don’t know what to do with their e-waste. It’s why TechCollect is keen to inform people about the importance of recovering the resources we already have in products that can be re-used, ensuring they understand the process of recycling their e-waste, and where they can dispose of it,” said Dollisson.