Resell or Recycle - the Digital Switchover Debate

8 May 2012

Last month, analogue transmission ceased in the UK and television viewers had to either convert their current set or upgrade to a new one to receive digital signals. 

Fears have grown that we would see needless dumping or fly-tipping of old television sets and householders have been advised to repair and resell or recycle. 

We talked to Sam Prentice from Waste-IT, a Recycle with Clarity partner, about why he thinks efforts should be directed to recycling rather than reselling. 

“The UK is known for being a throw away and technology driven nation, hungry for the next shiny high tech equipment – be it 3D or flat screen. It’s the sad story behind the TV repair man going out of business and it’s putting pressure on our environment. 

“But I don’t believe that sending a television off for repair and resell is the answer. Everything has a shelf life, so replacing a board or fuse doesn’t mean other parts won’t fail a month or two down the line. And when you weigh up fix and failure rates and sales figures, this route is likely to increase carbon emissions, lead to undiscovered costs and result in another recycling facility collecting that same TV for a second time because it’s failed to sell or can’t be fixed or upgraded. 

“Householders and businesses can have electrical items collected and recycled at networks across the country and I strongly believe that this is the best option for unwanted sets. This way they are diverted from landfill, the base materials are recovered and hazardous substances are separated for safe recycling.” 

Waste-IT is a WEEE recycling company based in Basingstoke, Hampshire. 

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