We're not very good at recycling our old mobile phones, a new survey has shown.

More than half of 18 to 24-year-olds (54 per cent) said they currently hoard at least one spare mobile phone. According to mobile phone recycling company Mopay , 28 per cent said they have two or more old handsets lying around the house. The most common place to keep old handsets is the bedroom drawer.

Most people said they like to keep a spare phone in case their other one breaks down. But 54 per cent said they don't want to get rid of their phone due to having too much personal content - including confidential text messages, video clips and photos - stored on the device.

Unaware

Many also admitted to not knowing about phone recycling, the hazardous substances found in mobile phones, or that you can get money for recycling phones.

The survey polled 2,255 consumers as part of the Mobile Recycling Attitudes 2007 report. It found that if recycled, the unused handsets in the UK would be worth £386 million.

"Many people just don't see phones as something that can be recycled in the same way as paper or plastic, even though they are as likely to re-use an old handset as they are an old plastic bottle.

"The fact that advertisers spend millions creating an emotional attachment to our phones clearly doesn't help. And, despite the fact all personal information on recycled handsets is completely wiped, people also seem to fear that their phone secrets will get out, which is totally unfounded," said Simon Walsh, co-founder of Mopay, said.