Technology is evolving so rapidly that the average computer is changed every two years and mobile phones are upgraded about every 18 months.

Claire Snow, Director of the Industry Council for Electronic Equipment Recycling (www.icer.org.uk) recons "Almost 300,000 tonnes of computer equipment becomes waste every year,"

Around 50 per cent of this amount is recycled. But the rest ends up as landfill, from which dangerous chemicals such as lead, mercury and chromium can leach into the environment.

Computer equipment recycling centres.

The REI is a network of computer refurbishment centres benefiting businesses, communities and the environment.


Donate old equipment.

You can donate old computer equipment and mobile phones to charity!

Computer Aid International
(www.computer-aid.org) would love to refurbish your computer and send it to somewhere in need overseas.

Send your printer and toner cartridges, PCs and mobiles to Office Green (www.officegreen.co.uk), and add to the company's £600,000 of charitable donations since 1996.

Computers For Charity (www.computersforcharity.co.uk) recycles computers for community groups around the UK - both offer a collection service.

Environmental Mobile Control (www.emc-recycle.com) donates £3 to charity for each mobile they receive.

Oxfam (www.oxfam.org.uk), SCOPE (www.scope.org.uk) will take them off your hands directly.