Nearly 42 million tons of "e-waste" -- defined as any device with an electric cord or battery -- were dumped around the globe in 2014.
A UN study released on April 19 said that only an estimated 6.5 tons were taken for recycling.
The report from the United Nations University estimated that the discarded materials, including gold, silver, iron and copper, was worth some $52 billion.
The United States led e-waste dumping with 7.1 million tons in 2014, ahead of China on 6.0 million and followed by Japan, Germany and India, it said.
Norway led per capita waste generation, with 28 kg dumped per inhabitant, followed by Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark and Britain.
On that ranking, the United States was ninth and China was not among the top 40.