The UK's Top 10 Cities for Tech Recycling

Recent figures suggest that UK households and businesses produce 1.45 million tonnes of electrical waste each year. This is an enormous amount of waste which causes a devastating impact on the environment and communities worldwide. It’s not only damaging to the planet, but also represents a loss of over £370 million a year in materials like gold, copper, aluminium and steel that otherwise could have been retrieved and reused. E-waste needs to be treated with the same urgency as single use plastics and ocean pollution, and the more conversions start to develop, the more people get involved in taking part in ensuring less devices end up in landfill, the bigger the change will be initiated and we’re more likely to reach the target of 65% of collected e-waste in the UK.

It is important to celebrate the local efforts of transitioning towards a recycling-first approach to tech upgrades and recognise those who are contributing to e-waste reduction by recycling old and unused tech in their households. That’s why in the light of Global Recycling Day 2022, we dove into our anonymised device trade-in data for the past year to identify the UK’s recycling hero cities that are the most environmentally responsible with their gadgets.

Shortlist of the UK’s Top 10 Cities for Tech Recycling

In 2022, Newcastle upon Tyne took the crown of the most gadget-conscious city in the UK replacing Sheffield that made the list last year. Newcastle is closely followed by Nottingham and Cardiff. Residents in Edinburgh are trading in the most tech in Scotland and overall England is the most environmentally conscious with their devices.

Here’s the UK’s list of top 10 tech recycling cities that should be known for their sustainable living with consumer electronics:

  1. Newcastle upon Tyne, England
  2. Nottingham, England
  3. Cardiff, Wales
  4. Peterborough, England
  5. Bristol, England
  6. Edinburgh, Scotland
  7. Leicester, England
  8. Portsmouth, England
  9. South East London, England
  10. Chelmsford, England

Image: Compare and Recycle

Globally, the total amount of e-waste generated in 2021 was expected to reach 57.4 million tonnes, and much of it due to shorter device lifespans, higher demand for digitalisation and limited repair opportunities.

While the regulation authorities and manufacturers come to terms with a balanced solution to the already existing amounts of e-waste, it is crucial that individuals make their steps to learning more about the impact of mobile phones and rethinking the way they purchase, use and dispose of electronics, including tablets, smart wearables and phones. We salute those who are contributing to giving a second chance to their gadget and being less wasteful. Hopefully, this will be an example for others to become part of the solution, not part of the pollution.


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