A portion of the computers that end up clogging up refuse sites might be there because of user frustrations with performance and could have carried on functioning for the sake of a memory upgrade.
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Slow boot-up times and performance issues lead a fair few people, 38% of those quizzed by Crucial.com, to dump their PCs and opt for a quicker model, despite the rest of the system being adequate for their needs.
The consequences can be seen at refuse centres with 5,528 tonnes of computer scrap being produced in the UK as desktops and laptops make their way out of homes and into the rubbish.
“People often go out and buy a brand new computer simply because their old one does not perform as quickly as it used to, and this habit can be extremely costly, time consuming, and damaging to the environment,” said Roddy McLean, a computer upgrade expert from Crucial.com.
“Rather than discarding a perfectly good computer, the problem of a slow-running laptop or PC can be resolved in as little as ten minutes with an easy system memory or SSD upgrade," he added.
Crucial also consulted Robert Llewellyn, presenter of Scrapheap Challenge, to underline the point that people often throw away items that could still be used: Although people like me can usually find a use for this so called ‘waste,’ it would be much simpler and cost-effective if we could think more carefully about how to improve the lifespan of the products we use at home.”