Around 20 million old computers are lying unused in German households, according to a representative survey commissioned by the Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media (Bitcom). Approximately 30 per cent of respondents admitted to having at least one old PC or notebook at home. One in ten reported having two or more older computers gathering dust. One average, one out of every two households had a old computer.
Commenting on the results of the survey, Bitcom's vice-president Volker Smid pointed out that there were valuable raw materials in waste electronic equipment. More than 80 per cent of the material used could be recycled, he said. The amount of raw materials to be recovered from individual computers was small, but collectively, millions of pieces of equipment could make and important contribution to resource conservation and environmental protection, Mr Smid stressed.
Half of survey respondents said they kept an old computer around so that they would have a backup device if their newer computer were to fail. For another 20 per cent of participants, the effort effort involved in disposal had kept them from turning their old computers in for recycling. Another 11 per cent cited problems with deleting personal data from the old devices and six per cent said they did not know how to properly dispose of their old computers.