ADSL hardware may not be the most damaging piece of rubbish you can generate, but with millions of modems and routers out there the amounts do add up. Madasafish has sent out a press release warning that broadband users and providers are crippling the environment.
The assertion by Madasafish is based on those providers that issue hardware locked to their own service and thus not usable with other providers if you migrate at a later date (two examples being the BT Home Hub and Orange Livebox). Some providers do not lock the hardware, but only entertain fault reports from specific hardware, thus requiring users to buy supported hardware. We suspect that a lot of people have two or more ADSL devices at home, probably the original USB ADSL modem and then maybe one or two more devices.
So what can an individual do? Well firstly before getting rid of hardware make sure that your broadband providers support will accept fault reports using your hardware. Simplest option is to donate it to a friend who may be getting broadband for the first time, or to sell it on an auction site like eBay. If you are going to dispose of it, check with your local council or visit www.wasteonline.org.uk to see if a recycling option is available.
Providers that lock hardware to their specific service should ideally offer to take back hardware you no longer want.
Update: One more option is top use the site uk.freecycle.org to find people who want to reuse stuff you don't want in your local community.