Millions of pounds worth of PCs and laptops scrapped

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LAPTOPS and PCs worth nearly £4m are being thrown away in Wigan borough every year according to the latest shocking figures.

A survey commissioned by the Independent Media News group found that 11,000 PCs and laptops were binned in the borough last year.

And with the average price of a personal computer being £357 it means some £3,927,000 worth of computer equipment is being scrapped annually.

However, while it may appear that Wigan’s electrical waste is soaring, it has been named as the second lowest within the North West area.

Blackpool was rated as the least highest for computer and laptop waste with 8,050 being thrown out each year - which equates to 12,900 kilos.

Then St Helens was next with around 1,000 items being dumped per annum, which is around 16,000 kilos.

Greater Manchester was by far the highest with 226,000 kilos being disposed of each year. This is a staggering 90,400 laptops and computers.

Lancashire was 41,200 products each year, Cheshire, 24,960, Liverpool, 16,000 and Cumbria, 17,760.

Wigan Council say s it has been working to eradicate the dangers and to save the cost of the unwanted items.

Wigan Council’s director of environment, Terry Dunn, said: “Any piece of unwanted domestic electrical equipment, including computers and monitors, can be taken to any of Wigan Council’s household waste recycling centres (HWRC) for recycling.

“In order to comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations, the items are then collected by a company which specialises in the safe treatment of waste PCs and monitors.

“They are classed as hazardous waste due to some of the chemicals within them.

“Where possible, the parts are reused or recycled to minimise the amount of waste going into landfill.

“Before disposing of any old laptop or PC, we would encourage people to check online for specialist charities who may be able to collect their machine from them and recycle or use in projects overseas, particularly in developing countries.

“Businesses disposing of PCs and monitors will have a Trade Waste agreement in place with a registered waste collector or carrier.”

For details of your nearest household waste recycling centre and opening times, visit www.wigan.gov.uk