A combination of fear and lack of awareness have been blamed for Britain coming last in a study of electrical recycling in European countries.
The study, which was conducted by Dell, found that fewer than half of Britons recycled their old electricals, compared with 80 per cent of Germans.
Speaking to the BBC, Dell’s recycling manager Jean Cox-Kearns said that the due to the late implementing of the WEEE directive in the UK, not as many people were aware of the laws surrounding the recycling of electronic waste.
However, she said another factor that was impinging on many in the UK’s willingness to recycle was a fear of old data either being used to steal details or misused in other ways.
She also warned that it was important for the UK government to track what happened to equipment when it was sent to charities or commercial re-fitters. "I agree we should maximise the use of computer equipment. However, we need to find out what happens to the equipment after they [the recipients] are finished with them, otherwise it is effectively dumping."
Within the UK, Wales and the North were found to be amongst the worst for not recycling used hardware. Wales came in top of regions with the most residents not disposing of their equipment properly at just under 19 per cent.
The North West came second at 17 per cent, while the North East see 15 per cent of residents not recycling.