The weight of "e-waste” in 2016 was equivalent to about 4,500 Eiffel Towers, according to the joint study by the UN University, the International Telecommunication Union and the International Solid Waste Association.
The study said rising incomes and falling prices for electronic items from solar panels to fridges were to blame for the 8 percent increase in e-waste, which sat at 41 million tons in 2014. E-waste was defined as any item of trash with a plug or a battery.
Raw scrapped materials, including gold, silver, copper, platinum and palladium, were worth an estimated €55 billion ($65 billion) in 2016.
Despite 66 percent of the world's population being covered by e-waste legislation, most e-waste, which can pose serious risks to human health and the environment, ends up as rubbish in landfills rather than being recycled or properly discarded.
Rüdiger Kühr, head of the UN University's Sustainable Cycles Programme, told Reuters this was a surprise considering 67 nations, covering two-thirds of the world's population, had legislation about processing e-waste.
"What is still shocking ... is that only 20 percent [of e-waste] is going in the official collection and recycling schemes," Kühr said.
E-waste was projected to climb to 52.2 million tons in 2021, the study said.
The report said many people threw out gadgets to buy an upgraded model or because repairs of anything from a toaster to a smartphone were more expensive than buying a replacement.