Samsung recently published a survey of US users’ attitudes towards electronic waste (e-waste), and the results show that they are reluctant to recycle.
As it turns out, many people find it difficult to get rid of old devices, and this is contributing to the growing amount of global e-junk. This information comes from the Green Print Survey (opens in a new tab) which Samsung conducted with the global intelligence firm Morning Consult. They asked 2,210 people over the age of 18 what is stopping them from being more environmentally friendly.
According to the survey, nearly 50 percent of respondents agree that e-waste is a major climate problem, but 72 percent do not recycle their devices. This raises two questions: what are people doing with this old technology and why don’t they recycle?
I stuff them
Apparently, people put them away in different places around the house for safekeeping. 36 percent people admitted that they have a “designated e-garbage drawer” in which they store old electronics (in the case of young people from the Z generation, this number increases to 54%). Putting them in a box and taking them to the garage or attic is another popular method used by 35 percent of the men surveyed.
As for why people don’t recycle, it’s because they’re so attached to their gadgets or, as Samsung put it, they have “digital FOMO” (fear of being missed). 24% of respondents said they were concerned about losing photos from their old phones. 23 percent only save devices “in case something happens to the new”. And looking at age ranges, the older generations are more cautious about confidential information leaks.
A quarter of the oldest participants say they stick to their e-waste because they believe old devices still contain sensitive information and don’t want it to appear there. This figure drops to 8 percent for Gen Z respondents, who appear to be more confident in software security. Younger generations are also more likely to put used devices aside to give them away later.
In addition to the survey results, Samsung made a number of suggestions for what people can do with e-waste. The company recommends taking e-waste to one of 1,700 recycling points in the United States. You can find locations near your home by searching them Samsung Responsible Recycling website (opens in a new tab) and clicking “Decline Today”.
It also recommends repurposing Galaxy smartphones to downloading the Smart Things application and using it at home, for example as a baby monitor. You can also try to repair the devices yourself by Samsung’s self-repair program to extend their service lifebut it is limited to only a few smartphones like the Galaxy S20 and S21.
To keep your old photos, we strongly recommend uploading them to a cloud storage service. TechRadar has recently updated its list of the best cloud storage for 2022, including Google Photos, OneDrive and Flickr. Be sure to check it out.