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Uswitch: UK households are sitting on 22 million unused broadband routers

Megan Robinson
March 17, 2022 is calling on broadband providers to make it easier for customers to recycle unused routers, and to offer a service for customers to return old routers

New research from Uswitch reveals households across the UK are hoarding 22 million unused broadband routers which are failing to be recycled.

Of 2,000 UK adults surveyed, 76 per cent said they want a universal router in a bid to cut e-waste as 87 pc of consumers receive a router whether they need it or not.

The research also showed that 42 pc of households currently have an unused router in their home, and 14 pc have two or more.

Many are unaware of how to recycle a router with 59 pc saying they don’t know how to and 15 pc said their broadband provider has sent them a new router despite already having a working one at home.

Sky has been voted the worst offender when it comes to informing customers about recycling their old router, and 60 pc of those surveyed believe providers could do more to save the planet. 

Over one million tonnes of electrical waste are generated annually by UK households and businesses, estimates e-waste research organisation Material Focus. broadband expert Nick Baker said: “Broadband providers are currently under no obligation to help their customers recycle unused routers, but with the majority of routers coming from the providers in the first place, they need to step up and play a bigger role in tackling this issue.

“Providers must bridge this gap and ensure their customers have all the information they need to dispose of old routers in an environmentally friendly way.”   

Consumers who want to learn more about the scheme can consult Uswitch’s recycling guide.

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