Optus is encouraging customers to recycle their old phones through Mobile Muster.
Optus is encouraging customers to recycle their old phones through Mobile Muster.

Nation of technology hoarders

GADGET-loving Australians continue to boast a 127% penetration rate with new mobile technology, ranking higher than the US, UK and Japan.

However, a new study by Optus has revealed 72% of Aussie households are holding on to technology products for up to 11 years, truly making us a nation of hoarders.


Unused but not unwanted
The average Australian admits to holding on to more than five items of technology they no longer use, accounting
for almost a third (29%) of all technology items within their household.

Of those surveyed, the most common unused products clogging up our homes include mobile phones and TVs, with the typical Australian household holding on to a total of 14 unused tech items at one time.

Stephen Fenech, leading tech expert and editor of TechGuide says, "Australians are known for being early adopters but we also find it hard to let go of our technology.

"Throwing out or recycling a product we paid top dollar for when we bought it is something we're not comfortable with.

"For some people however, they hold onto unused tech items because over 60% of us simply do not know how to dispose of them safely".


Trash or treasure
A huge 72% of Australians will hold on to a technology product for an average of 11 years before they consider
parting ways, believing that it will become useful to them in the future, while 74% of Australians are reluctant to
throw away dated technology products, especially where they were once considered high-value.

An interesting and optimistic group, one in 10 Australians believe their oldest technology item will become 'a collectable' and worth more than it was when purchased.

"Like a person holding on to their flared jeans in the hope they'll come back into fashion, a lot of people are
under the illusion their obsolete devices may be useful again one day. Or better still, there's an even better
chance that if they hold onto a piece of technology long enough they could sell it to a tech museum in the future." says Mr Fenech.

In contrast, the majority of us (61%) are resigned to the fact that unused tech products are likely to be little more
than junk.


The golden items of technology
Despite the fact Australians are rapidly embracing IPTV services, 36% of Australian households admit to still
having a VCR somewhere in the house.

Old TVs are also clogging up Australian living rooms, with the average Australian family holding on to an old TV unit for up to 14 years!

Gaming consoles such as the Atari 2000, Nintendo 64, Gameboy and Sega Master System also appear to carry
sentimental importance, with 36% of people considering their old tech items to be 'retro and cool', as opposed to
a piece of junk.

For those holding onto old mobile phones, Optus encourages consumers to do their bit for the environment and
safely recycle through Mobile Muster - the official recycling program of the mobile phone industry.

Optus has been a proud partner of Mobile Muster since 2007 and in 2010/11, collected over 120,000 mobile phones (4.5 tonnes) for recycling.

For more information on recycling your mobile phone visit www.mobilemuster.com.au.

 

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