Aussies keep tech for longer with an 11 year average

We’ve often wondered how many people throw out older mobile phones, TVs, tablets, and computers every year, and according to a new survey by Optus, we now have an answer: not many.

A study by Optus conducted with over 1000 Australians has found that 72% of households stay with technology for up to 11 years before they move on, with the reasoning being that the products will be useful later on.

Parents can move a TV to another room of the house or pass down a computer, and provided a mobile phone or tablet hasn’t met an untimely death with a shattered screen, we can see these gadgets being passed over to friends or different members of the family.

We’ve heard in the past that Australians keep their TVs for longer, and this survey has sown that the older televisions stay in a house for up to 14 years, with 36% of Australians still admitting to having a VCR somewhere in the house. With home movies recorded to older tapes, they should probably be finding a way to convert these to a digital former sooner rather than later.

And then there are those that value the technology, with one in ten Aussies believing their gadget will become a collectable, perfect for selling later on eBay.

We’re not sure if anyone will buy our ridiculously old massive Motorola mobile phones, but this group does. Most people won’t be spending on older tech, though, with 61% of those surveyed thinking that old and unused tech products are pretty much just junk.

“Some Aussies pass old technology items onto the family while others simply hold onto unused tech items because over 60% do not know how to dispose of them safely,” said Optus spokesperson Mike Smith.

“For those holding onto old mobile phones, we actually encourage consumers to do their bit for the environment and safely recycle through Mobile Muster, the official recycling program of the mobile phone industry.”

Outside of the Optus mobile clean-up program, most Australian councils run electronic waste programs at least once a year, designed to help households get rid of gadgets quickly and easily, with the council hiring companies to melt the electronics down for the trace amounts of gold and other metals found inside.

If you have a ton of electronic junk and you’re considering slimming down, consider contacting your council and finding out more. Next time the survey comes around, maybe we’ll find less Australians with outdated tech.