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EDITIONS
Friday, 16 August, 2002, 07:33 GMT 08:33 UK
Britons go gadget crazy
Colour screen mobile phone
Tempted by the latest new mobile phones?
The British are a nation of gadget guzzlers, with thousands of gizmos lying around unused, according to a survey.

A mountain of disused gadgets worth 5bn are lying around UK homes, with over half of households stockpiling more than three pieces of unwanted hi-tech wizardry.

Top five gadgets
Mobile phone handset
Hi-fi equipment
Television
Video
PC/laptop
Young people between the ages of 18 and 24 are among the worst offenders, owning twice as many gadgets as the national average.

Most are clueless about what to do with their unwanted technology, with only 3% considering recycling as an option.

Men are the worse culprits for holding onto their gadgets, with 32% holding on to four or more unused items compared to just 19% of women hanging onto the same number.

In a regional breakdown, Scots proved to be the biggest gadget freaks with each household sitting on over 300 worth of disused mobiles, laptops and hi-fi equipment.

Gadget mountain

The top five hoarded gadgets are mobile phone handsets, hi-fi equipment, TVs, videos and PCs, said the survey by cable firm Telewest.

Blink digital camera
Gadgets are getting smaller and smaller
The nation's obsession with gadgets means Britain could be heading for a problem as big as the current fridge mountain.

"With technology moving so fast, it's not surprising we have more and more equipment in our homes but we could be creating a gadget mountain and a big problem for the future," said Telewest's David Hobday.

Simply throwing away mobile phones could be causing serious problems for the environment.

The batteries in some older mobile phones contain cadmium, a substance that is among the top 10 most dangerous known to man.

Recycling is not only a more environmentally friendly option but also provides communications to communities that otherwise would not have access to hi-tech.

Many recycled mobile phones end up in developing countries and recycled PCs are often distributed to community groups or deprived areas in the UK.

BBC News Interactive reports from the CeBIT technology fair in Hanover

WHAT'S HOT

TECH CLIMATE

VIDEO

INTERNET LINK
 VOTE RESULTS
Which is your favourite gadget?

Television
 7.58% 

Video/DVD
 6.51% 

Hi-fi
 9.63% 

Computer
 62.64% 

Mobile phone
 13.64% 

2243 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

18 Jul 01 | Science/Nature
07 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
11 Jan 02 | Science/Nature
16 Jul 01 | dot life
Internet links:


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