Compare and Recycle

The UK's Top 10 Most Gadget-Conscious Cities 2023

Recent surveys suggest that in UK homes, there are more than 20 million unused tech worth up to £5.63bn being hoarded. This means that by the end of 2022, there was at least 347.18 Mt of unrecycled e-waste globally, and it is estimated that in 2023, this figure will be exceeded. By 2030 climate damage, caused by human actions, will reach alarming rates with increasing climate anxiety and wasted raw materials including gold, copper, aluminium and steel. But it doesn’t always have to be doom and gloom! That's why for the third consecutive year we dive into our trade-in data to shoutout about the nation's efforts in being mindful of the disposal of small electronics and tech in general.

To celebrate Global Recycling Day 2023, we want to bring attention to all the towns and cities in the UK that have been making an impact by treating e-waste as an urgent matter. Celebrating and sharing local efforts is hugely important when transitioning towards a recycling-first approach, and by using our device trade-in data, we have identified the top ten areas in the UK that are the most environmentally responsible with their gadgets.

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Shortlist of the UK’s Top 10 Most Gadget-Conscious Cities 2023

The 2023 title of the most gadget-conscious city and therefore the most environmentally responsible is claimed by Oldham in Greater Manchester replacing 2022’s number two - Nottingham which now ranks 7th. Coming in second is Ilford, representing the only London Borough in the top ten this year and . By not seeing waste but opportunity, Kirkcaldy has made it third flying the flag for sustainable tech consumption in Scotland. Bristol, Peterborough, Nottingham and Leicester are on the list for the second year in a row, but unfortunately Wales and Northern Ireland didn't make the shortlist.

This year's top 10 shortlist:

  1. Oldham, England
  2. Ilford, England
  3. Kirkcaldy, Scotland
  4. Bristol, England
  5. Peterborough, England
  6. Derby, England
  7. Nottingham, England
  8. Crawley, England
  9. Swindon, England
  10. Leicester, England

Although the predictions of global e-waste reaching 74.7 Mt by 2030 are alarming, it is noticeable that the nation is changing its upgrade habits and there has been a positive shift in what consumers prioritise when purchasing their next handset. 15% of British consumers now consider the ecological impact of their next phone, whilst the least of their priorities is how recent the model is with 11% factoring it in.

By rethinking the way we get rid of our used smartphones and choosing refurbished over brand new, we can initiate change and break the cycle of e-waste. We are encouraged by people in the UK recycling their used devices and collectively we have managed to prevent tonnes of mobile phones from becoming e-waste last year.

With that being said, we can’t wait to see more gadget-conscious towns become part of the solution, and not the pollution - well done!

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