Three-quarters of mobile phone owners have upgraded their handset over the past two years, while every person in Britain owns at least one gadget that they no longer use, according recycling group Redeem.
As a result, a host of firms are offering consumers a way to cut down on this mountain of electronic waste and earn money at the same time. Next time your mobile conks out, or your iPod needs an upgrade, go online or call a firm such as Mazuma (0845 872 3000; mazumamobile.com), or Redeem (redeemplc.com).
Tell them the model of your mobile, MP3 player, digital camera, satnav or laptop, and they’ll offer you a price. Most will even accept non-working electronics, though obviously these are worth less. Shop around to get the best price.
Once you accept an offer, the company will post you a padded envelope to send the device back, and then send you a cheque.
For little hassle, there are potentially big gains. Mazuma pays £90 for a working BlackBerry Bold 900 or £183 for a 16GB 3G iPhone. The fees for older phones are much less: you’ll only receive £1 for a Nokia 8310, made in 2001. But for old junk sitting around in your drawers, the earnings quickly add up.