Thorunn Egilsdottir
Corporate Communication Manager
30th May 2022

What should we do with our old electronic devices?

Did you know that your old computer or TV doesn’t belong in the trash, but do you know how to discard your old electronic equipment? Andy Maxant, Director of ECOTREL and ECOBATTERIEN tells us what we must know and provides five useful sustainability tips.

1. How can I dispose of my old electronic devices properly?

Users should first consider having their old electronic devices repaired if they no longer work (either in a shop or in one of the “repair cafés” which are increasingly appearing in Luxembourg). They can also be resold or even donated to charity if they are still working.

If users wish to dispose of their old devices, they can discard them free of charge:

  • at a recycling centre;

  • in a shop without obligation to buy (if less than 25 cm in size) or when buying a new appliance (large appliances only);

  • make use of “SuperDrecksKëscht” mobile collections.

2. Why is it important to return appliances that are no longer needed?

Electronic devices contain metals and rare earths. Recycling therefore feeds the circular economy loop and, thus, reduces the extraction of virgin raw materials, which in some cases (such as for cobalt and lithium) is problematic. In addition, many devices contain batteries, especially lithium batteries, which can explode if stored incorrectly.

3. Which electronic devices are replaced the fastest and in what volume?

The electronic devices that are replaced the fastest are mobile phones, tablets and laptops. In Luxembourg, around 300.000 smartphones and around 150.000 laptops and tablets are sold every year. More than 6.500 tons of electronic equipment are collected annually and more than 95% of the recovered IT equipment is recycled.

4. How can I protect personal data stored on old mobile phones or computers?

Manufacturers usually provide a feature to delete data from computer and telecommunication devices. We therefore advise users to delete their data before disposing of their devices. If this is not possible, you should know that the collection network set up by ECOTREL is secure and that the hard disks of computers and other laptops are systematically destroyed in our sorting and collection centre in Bettembourg.

5. What are your five sustainability tips when it comes to electronic devices?

Our useful tips: 

1. Buy energy- and water-efficient appliances (e.g. washing machines), which can be recognised by the new A to G label.

2. Do not leave appliances on standby all the time.

3. Consider having an appliance repaired rather than buying a new one instantaneously.

4. Prefer to use the return channels set up by ECOTREL, as they take into account the proximity principle and guarantee proper treatment.

5. Do not donate devices for export to Africa as this is tantamount to sending future waste there without guarantee as to their correct treatment.

About the blog:


There is an urgent need for rapid transition to global sustainability. Business and industry have enormous social and environmental impacts. "Why does it matter?" is a bi-monthly blog that aims to elucidate this important topic through the eyes of our experts. 

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