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Bulgaria last in EU for recycling computers

| 2023-11-27 2 min read

Bulgaria last in EU for recycling computers

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Bulgaria placed bottom in the EU for recycling disused ICT devices, in a survey conducted in 2022 by EU official statistics office Eurostat.

Only 3.4% recycle their old desktop computers in Bulgaria. Sweden (29%) recycles the most old desktop computers, ahead of the Netherlands (27%). Austria was the highest ranked in CEE, with just under 20%.

In Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), the top recycler was Czechia, where 18.1% of people reprocess desktops. Above the EU average were Slovenia (15.9%), Poland (12.8%) Estonia (11.6%) Lithuania (11.3%) Slovakia (11.2%) and Hungary (10.2%).

The worst performers were Romania (6.6%) Latvia (9.4%) Croatia (3.9%) and Bulgaria (3.4%). In Bulgaria, the percentage of people recycling old laptops and tablets is 2%, below the EU average of 9.7%. and 4% of mobile phones are recycled, below the 10.3% average.

The Netherlands (15%) and Romania (13%) reported the highest shares of people who sold or gave away their old desktops.

People who recycle ICT devices no longer in use, 2022/ Source: Eurostat

The survey aims to support measuring the implementation of the three pillars of A Europe fit for the digital age. The strategy is built on the three concepts of technology that works for the people; a fair and competitive digital economy, and; an open, democratic and sustainable society. It also facilitates monitoring of the EU’s digital targets for 2030: improving skills; digital transformation of businesses; secure and sustainable digital infrastructures; and digitalisation of public services.

Eurostat also found that the rate of circularity of material use in the EU in 2022 was 11.5 %, up 3.3 percentage points from 2004. The circularity rate measures the ratio of materials fed back into the economy, reducing primary raw materials extraction. It includes flows of materials, fossil fuels and energy products, but not of water.

Material flows in the EU, 2022, billion tonnes per year (GT/year)/ Source: Eurostat

The annual EU survey on ICT use in households and by individuals has been conducted since 2002, collecting and disseminating information. Data are collected by National Statistical Institutes and based on Eurostat’s model questionnaire, updated annually.