The Growing Computer Scrapheap Revealed

Rozie Apps & Independent Media News
Tuesday, 16th July 2013

Actor and presenter of Scrapheap Challenge, Robert Llewellyn, looks at our staggering waste of PCs and laptops every year. But what can we do about it?

What do you do when your computer is slow, not working properly or just isn't up to scratch?

Well 38% of people who took part in a British survey commissioned by Independent Media News, said they throw away their computers if they are running slowly or freeze when trying to multi task.

Even worse, 9% said they throw their laptop or PC into the bin simply because they want a newer model.

These percentages add up to an enormous 5,528 tonnes of laptop and PC waste every year in Britain – the equivalent to 760 double-decker buses!

With technology improving rapidly, more and more computers will be lacking the latest software or abilities which means more waste.

And where is all this going?

Into our precious Earth. Humanity's life source.

So what can we do about this?

Robert Llewellyn gives one solution in this funny but informative video below. He explains how simple it is to upgrade your slow computer, by yourself and in only a few minutes. 


Many older computers and laptops may only need the memory upgraded to get it running more efficiently.

But what are other options?

Recycling old laptops or PCs is another option. You can take them to a recyling company who can either resell the computer as second hand if it is still working or they can strip it down and sell it as parts. Old parts, especially LCDs (liquid crystal display) and CPUs (central processing unit) have a strong market.

Metal from the laptop is then recyled to companies such as Steel Recycling Institute in America and British Metals Recycling Association in the UK.

Even the hard drive can be destroyed via a shredder to protect the data that could still be on them. The shredded hard drive is then separated into copper, plastic and steel, all of which can be recycled into new products. 

Further resources

Watch: Could A Circular Economy Provide A Solution To Our Current Linear System?

Figures are from Independent Media News 

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