Broadband provider BT will charge new customers up to 50 if they do not send their router back at the end of their contract, in an effort to reduce waste.

Since December, BT's contracts have stated that the company retains ownership of the wi-fi routers and TV set-top boxes it sends to customers.

The company told the [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] that it would "refurbish" the returned equipment so that it could be reused.

Rival Virgin Media already operates a similar policy
.

BT told the BBC the change would eventually apply to its EE and Plusnet subsidiaries too.

It will charge customers between 43 and 50 if they want to keep their router, depending on the model.

Keeping the BT YouView set-top box will cost between 60 and 115.

It has not reduced its monthly subscription charges as a result of the change, but it said customers would not be charged up-front for a router or TV box.

  • [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
  • [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
  • [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

Customers will be sent a padded envelope to return their router to BT.

They will also be able to drop off equipment at a BT and EE shop on the high street.

The company said any previous customer who [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

The company estimates that the change will stop a million set-top boxes and routers a year being thrown away.


"This will help to limit the amount of waste going into landfill, and allows us to refurbish more equipment and move towards a more sustainable model," the company said.

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]