What Areas in the UK Recycle the Most Tech?

In Europe, around 12 Mt of e-waste has been generated in 2019 and much of it is sent to developing countries where it ends up in landfill, is illegally traded or burned for raw materials. Current climate anxiety and damage caused by human actions are reaching alarming rates, so we decided to dig into the Compare and Recycle data for some good news to share and encourage the UK to be more mindful with their small electronics and tech in general.

We have analysed 40,000 recent anonymised transactions to find out what areas across the UK are recycling their unwanted mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches and digital cameras the most, and we found some fascinating results.

In 2021 Southey Green in Sheffield tops our list as the most gadget-conscious town in the UK and replaces Dunfermline in Scotland that made the list's first spot in 2020. Residents in the Belfast area are trading in the most tech in Northen Ireland. Our research has revealed that England is the most environmentally responsible with their gadgets.

Sheffield and Belfast are not alone in their efforts at minimising e-waste. Here are the UK's top 10 towns known for their sustainable approach to small electronics in 2021:

  1. Southey Green, Sheffield
  2. Taughmonagh, Belfast
  3. Preston, Lancashire
  4. Crewe, Cheshire
  5. Wells Green, Solihull
  6. Bodmin, Cornwall
  7. Epping, Essex
  8. Lower Clapton, Hackney
  9. Bletchley, Milton Keynes
  10. Dagenham, Essex

As consumers, we are increasingly aware of the strain we are putting on the natural world through unnecessary consumption rather than recycling and reusing. Packed with precious components, when not properly disposed of, our smartphones and digital devices contaminate the environment and end up being wasted away.

While the majority of mobile phone manufacturers continue to avoid taking the necessary steps to make smartphones more sustainable and reuse recycled materials in new products, it is great to see so many local recycling heroes from across the UK giving a second life to their devices and practicing sustainability in their daily lives.

By trading in unwanted devices, we do our bit to protect the environment as valuable materials are kept in circulation and we are also able to recover some monetary value. These traded-in devices come back on to the market as refurbished to quality standards smartphones. Instead of buying a brand-new phone and choosing a refurbished phone, we can extend the lifetime of a device, reducing its environmental impact while paying less for a high-quality handset.

We're inspired by people around the UK initiating the change and using Compare and Recycle to break the e-waste cycle. Over the past 5 years, we have managed to prevent almost a million mobile phones from being wasted away. Well done UK, keep up the good work and next year we expect to see more gadget-conscious towns!


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