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.