This is according to childrens educational charity Digital Links International which takes computers donated from UK companies and refurbishes them for African school children.
The Waste Electrical Equipment Directive (WEEE) places responsibility for disposing of redundant electrical equipment on the manufacturers.
But Digital Links argues that while the directive recognises that reuse is the best form of recycling it provides no incentive or targets to encourage manufacturers to do this.
Digital Links chief executive David Sogan said: Data cleansing and refurbishing computers is more expensive than simply crushing and recycling them. It is therefore likely that top-of-the-range newer second hand equipment will still be refurbished and resold, but any slightly older yet still fully functional equipment will be crushed and recycled.
The manufacture of one desktop computer uses 1.8 tonnes of raw materials including 240 kilograms of fossil fuels. Digital Links is urging companies to donate their computers directly to them to save them from being crushed and provide educational opportunities for African children.
Posted by Rob Morton, Redeem plc