• Almost half (46%) of young people have between six and ten unused electricals at home
  • Almost 4 in 10 (39%) Brits have three or more devices/appliances that they no longer use
  • Almost 8 out of 10 people (79%) would recycle their old electricals if it was easier

Young people are the biggest tech hoarders with an average of six unused devices in their home, according to new research from online electricals retailer AO. Almost half (46%) of people aged 18-24 have between six and ten electricals gathering dust, whereas the UK average is only three.

According to the survey of 2,000 Brits, almost four in ten (39%) people have three or more electricals that they no longer use, indicating that we all feel an attachment to our tech and have at least a few cracked iPhones or vintage consoles lying around. Mobile phones are the most likely to be discarded in a drawer, closely followed by laptops, headphones and DIY tools.

When it comes to larger appliances, a third (31%) have at least one fridge somewhere in their home that they no longer use. A third (30%) also admit to having at least one washing machine they no longer use, with a huge 9% revealing they have three still in their home – which shows uncertainty about how to dispose of large appliances.

On average, people surveyed estimated that their hoarded electricals were worth a huge £228, with 14% believing they had over £250 worth that weren’t being used.

While they’re known for being tech savvy, the research shows that Gen Z are also the most materialistic when it comes to their electricals. Over a third of young people (35%) always buy the latest model, which makes them five times more likely to upgrade than 45-64 year olds. A third (33%) like to upgrade their devices after only a year of use, whereas over 70% of 65 year olds and over only buy a new electrical item when something has broken.

When asked why they are so reluctant to part with their gadgets, a third (33%) said they like to keep the electricals as a back-up, while concerns about privacy were prevalent among 18-24 year olds, with over half (51%) saying they keep their tech due to worries about personal data. A third (32%) keep their old electricals because they’d like to recycle them but are unsure how. Interestingly, the research reveals that eight out of ten (79%) Brits agree that if there was an easy way to recycle their old electricals and appliances, they would like to do this instead of keeping them.

Robert Sant, MD of AO Recycling, said: “The new research shows that people clearly want to recycle their old electricals and appliances. They often end up collecting dust or fly tipped on the street when we could help to reduce our impact on the environment by just recycling them.”


“Over the past year, we’ve seen an increase in people taking advantage of our recycling service, with AO Recycling received 68% more unwanted fridges compared to the previous year. We believe it is the responsibility of retailers and manufacturers to make it as easy and hassle-free as possible for people to safety recycle these items.”

AO.com currently offers a Collect & Recycle service, where both customers and the public can book to have their appliances taken away to be responsibly recycled at AO’s unique fridge recycling plant in Telford.