Switchover causes increase in TV dumping

Thursday, November 5 2009, 11:38 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

The Digital Switchover has led to a 70% increase in television sets being dumped at landfill sites, Cumbria County Council has revealed.

According to figures for the past year released by the council, 50,000 analogue TVs were thrown out by households in the region, despite 30,000 of those being easily upgraded by simply adding a digital set top box, reports The Guardian.

Earlier in the year, European Recycling Platform general manager Scott Butler warned that the switchover would trigger an increase in wastage of consumer electronics.

Devon County Council, which made the switch to digital back in spring, reported almost a doubling of ditched TVs in the period between April and September.

Fears of a further increase in TV wastage are growing as the switchover yesterday commenced in the North West, with 7.2 million homes in the Granada TV region making the transition from analogue to digital TV.

Simon Birch, who is investigating the environmental cost of the switchover for Ethical Consumer magazine, said: "Digital UK is currently failing to tell the public of the environmental cost of throwing away their televisions.

"If your existing television can be adapted to getting digital TV then don't chuck it out but buy a digital set top box - you'll be doing the planet a favour as well as saving yourself money."

Back in August, Sony launched a scrappage-style scheme offering consumers up to 150 off the price of a new TV if they trade in their existing set.