17/12/2013 05:32 GMT | Updated 17/12/2013 05:32 GMT

More Than 48 Million Tonnes Of Gadgets Thrown Away Every Year

FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2009 file photo, circuit boards fill a bin at a recycling center in Indianapolis, Ind. Starting Jan. 1, Illinois residents must recycle their old electronics under a law aimed at keeping the items out of landfills. Environmental officials say there are concerns that heavy metals in electronics could cause groundwater pollution if they leach out of a landfill. But the metals _ including gold, copper and cadmium _ also can be recovered and reused. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

What with all of these new and wonderful gadgets out this year, it's no surprise that some of your older tech might end up on the scrap heap.

But not 48.9 million tonnes of it.

That's the total weight of gadgets thrown away in 2012, as reported by a partnership of UN organisations and other industry figures, the Solving the E-Waste Problem Initiative (Step).

Electronic waste includes everything from phones and computers, to TVs, microwaves and fridges.

Step says that around the world the total amount of electronic waste was 11 times heavier than the Pyramid of Giza, or 200 Empire State Buildings.

And that number is still on the rise - Step's predictions say that more than 60 million tonnes will be thrown away by 2017.

To the current total the UK contributes about 1.3 million tonnes - unfortunately more than you'd expect based on our population alone.

According to a separate recent study, the value of the electronics discarded by British consumers works out to about £762 million a year. That study, by SquareTrade, said that more than 1.2 million Brits have received an electronic gift that they've never even taken out of the box.

China was the highest contributor with 11.1 million tonnes while the US - despite having about a third of China's population, was second with 10 million tonnes.

You can explore the full set of figures on this world map produced by Step.