Posted by: GW7AAV | November 7, 2009

Digital TV causes massive rise in waste

Here in the UK the digital TV switch over is well under way and the next stage in my area is due on December 2nd when the last of the analogue transmitters get turned off. I have already mentioned in this blog how the public in general have been bamboozled in to paying out for high gain antennas that they do not need and new TVs when there was years left in the one they had. I would have hoped that the tree huggers out there would have made some kind of fuss, but they are obviously amongst the ones that have been taken in by the less than truthful advertisements we have seen. The government keeps telling us to reduce our carbon footprint but the digital switch over has seen a 70% plus rise in the number of TVs being dumped and various councils are complaining they cannot cope with the rise in what is referred to as e-waste.

Over the last year households in the Cumbria threw out more than 50,000 analogue TVs despite the fact that around 30,000 of the sets had nothing wrong with them and could be easily upgraded by adding a digital set-top box. Multiply this by the UK’s 86 counties and you get some idea of the problem. In the North West of England 7.2 million homes in the Granada region have been making the switch from analogue TV to digital this week, and queues at council run tips and recycling centres have been twice as long as usual with almost visitor bringing a TV.

Hopefully we radio amateurs are doing our bit and are recovering lots of useful components from at least some of this electronic waste. I look forward to seeing the first batch of QRP rigs made from 100% recycled TV parts.


  1. It’s frightening how easily the/we punters have been convinced into dumping good equipment and changing to poorer display units. All in the name of HD, or did someone say progress?
    I can understand a gradual adoption of flat screen, and digital, TVs when the need arises -flat screen TVs fit in well, WHEN the main one breaks down; but this wholesale scraping just cannot be the best for Gaia. And if one considers the increased use of the standby state in the new sets.

    Even worse is the administration supported migration from incandescent light sources to CFLs and similar. Millions of new light fittings needed. Far more complex production methods, and materials needed instead of sand and a few pieces of metal.
    Where are the real benefits?

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