9 Ways To Dispose Of A Microwave

When microwaves go bad or begin aging, one thing that concerns the users is what to do now with this broken microwave. It is tempting to toss it in a dumpster near your house. But that is not the right thing to do. So, how do you dispose of a microwave?

You can donate or sell it or send it to recycling, e-waste, electronic, and local appliances that accept old appliances. Check for manufacturer take-back programs, or consider professional disposal services. Also, follow some of the local guidelines beforehand.

Disposal should be environmentally friendly for a sustainable future. This article will look at the different ways of disposing of a microwave safely in the easiest possible ways. We will also look into specific laws and legalities to avoid future issues.  

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Local Regulations and Guidelines

Before you dispose of your microwave, learn some local laws and regulations of your locality. 

By this, you can ensure not to go against the local laws. 

The microwaves are classified as E-waste and cannot be dumped in your domestic garbage bin. 

In most countries, throwing away the microwave or any E-waste recklessly in the dustbins is considered illegal, which can even make you pay penalty fees. 

So, to ensure that you comply with the law, visit the government website, local authorities, a county or city official, and learn about the laws and regulations related to E-waste. 

Also, check for community events and special collection services that accept old and broken electronic appliances. 

Last year, I was in a situation where I had to dispose of my old microwave. After 10 long years, it finally went beyond repair. 

Since it is E-waste, I have to dump it responsibly. 

After some research, I learned about some community events that accept old appliances. 

So, I prepared my microwave for disposal, packed it, and took it to the event. 

A lot of people were present with several electronic appliances. 

When my turn came, I took my appliance to them. 

They thoroughly inspected the appliance, put it properly with other larger appliances, and provided me with a receipt as proof and a pamphlet about upcoming events. 

They also thanked me for participating in this event and contributing to responsible disposal.  

Even if there is no law forbidding the dumping of microwaves in domestic garbage, it is not considered safe. 

Safe and eco-friendly disposal is the correct way to dispose of the microwave.

Importance of Environmentally-Friendly Disposal Practices

According to the White Goods Disposal Law, households should not dump microwaves and electronic appliances in the domestic or general waste bin. 

It can harm the environment. 

One of the most considerable environmental impacts of E-wastes is the harm it causes to the environment. 

Like every other electronic device, microwaves have various materials that can threaten the environment if disposed of incorrectly.  

The internal components of microwaves include metals, plastics, and electronic circuitry that can release harmful chemicals and toxins into the air and pollute it. 

Moreover, illegal dumping of these E-wastes into the landfills also causes harm to the soil and water sources. 

The heavy and flammable materials from the appliances seep into the soil and contaminate the groundwater.

Proper disposal of microwaves is essential to reduce such harmful environmental impacts. 

It is crucial to explore the repair or recycling options. Several centers will remove the valuable parts of the appliance and reduce the amount of waste in landfills. 

Disposing the microwave in a landfill is the last best option when the parts cannot be recycled. 

Prepare the microwave for disposal, like removing the detachable parts and marking it as E-waste. 

Preparing the microwave for disposal: User safety and handling precautions for disposing of the microwave

  • A bit of preparation is required before you dispose of an old microwave:
  • Unplug your microwave. 
  • Clean the food remains and moisture from the inside of the microwave. 
  • Remove the loose parts, if there are any.
  • Secure the microwave door by tapping it shut.
  • While transporting the microwave yourself, consider packaging the product and transferring it to keep it safe until it reaches its destination. 
  • Take the microwave to the appliances store, recycling stores, collection events, and wherever you want to take it to dispose of it. 
  • Keep the documentation and all receipts related to the disposal of the microwave. Some facilities will give you certificates and receipts after you dispose of the product as proof of the correct disposal method. 

Do not try to set your microwave apart. 

Take your microwave as it is and donate it to the respective store. 

The store experts will open the microwave apart, remove the good parts, and do whatever is needed. 

It may seem like a standard appliance, but microwaves use much electricity in a high-voltage capacitor. 

When you do not discharge the appliance correctly, the capacitor will still have this electricity for days. 

When someone touches it, the person may receive a lethal shock.

That is why preparing the microwave before you dispose of it is better.

Unplug the microwave and safely discharge the capacitor. 

9 Different ways to dispose of a microwave 

Instead of throwing the microwave into a dumpster, there are several eco-friendly ways to dispose of your microwave.

You can sell or donate it or send it to someone who needs it and can use it until the appliance’s lifespan is over, or send it to the recycling centers. 

Below are some practical ways to get rid and dispose of your old or broken microwave:

Check Manufacturer Guidelines

Every product comes with a manufacturer manual containing several guidelines about how to use the product, its main functions, and modes, how to start and switch it off, etc. 

First, begin with the manufacturer’s manual. 

In this owner’s manual, you will receive guidance about correctly dumping the microwave when it has become too old and worn out without causing environmental harm. 

Follow the guidelines to dispose of your microwave.

Donate or Sell

Suppose your microwave is broken, and it can be repaired. But you have already bought a new one, and do not need this anymore.

In such a case, instead of disposing of it, you can donate or sell it to someone you know. 

You can also give it to the local charity, goodwill authorities, Salvation Army, or a nearby thrift store. 

While you may not need it, someone else will need it and can make good use of it after some repair before it reaches the end of its lifespan. 

Try posting an ad online to sell it at a lesser price before you take it for recycling. Microwaves are expensive, and the demand is relatively high. 

If someone can buy it at a low price and use it, you should give this chance. 

The only problem with selling or donating is that the product needs to be packed and shipped carefully because the internal parts can be fragile. 

First, try to sell or donate it. If you cannot find anyone, try online.

Recycling Facilities

Sending microwaves to recycling centers is one of the best methods to dispose of the product in an eco-friendly way. 

There is no law against recycling microwaves. 

Through this, you will not only help save reusable parts, but you are also helping the environment from pollution. 

 A microwave is a complex appliance and contains various recyclable materials. 

E-waste recycling centers with trained professionals will take your old or broken microwave and separate the parts and take away the good parts to use them for microwave repairs. 

The recycling centers will repair, sell, or donate the parts in good shape and worth repairing. 

At times, they will also use the appliances for these parts.

If you cannot find a center in your locality, search online, send mail-ins, send the microwave, and they will recycle it for a small fee too. 

So, this is a great deal. 

Special Collection  

You can arrange for your microwave to be collected as a part of the Local Council’s Bulky Rubbish Collection Program.

Most governments offer this kind of service. 

But the problem is that the availability of this program will vary based on the region because of the high demand and limited resources. 

So, you must wait until your old or broken microwave is collected. 

You also have to wait for nearly a month for an appointment. 

So, try to book it in advance. 

Moreover, receiving a Local Council Collection is a costly undertaking. 

Many councils can charge extra bucks for electrical wastes as they are difficult to dispose of.

Community Electronic Waste Events

Many communities hold such kinds of events. 

The event holders will collect electronic waste, like old laptops, computers, mobile phones, etc.

Here, you can give the event holders your old or broken microwave. 

I approached for this one. 

The events’ main motive is to provide a convenient and reliable way for people to get rid of old or broken appliances like microwaves properly, without causing any environmental harm. 

Entrusted drop-off points are also set up where people ready to give up E-waste can bring their appliances to be recycled or disposed of in an eco-friendly manner.

Community events and special collection services are more or less the same thing. 

Both can occur in certain regions, and you can take your E-wastes to both programs to safely dispose of them. 

Retailer or manufacturer Take-Back Programs

Some retailers and manufacturers have special take-back programs that help customers to dispose of old or broken microwaves. 

These companies will take back your old and inoperative microwaves to reuse their other electrical components that are in good shape. 

If you are unsure whether the companies will offer such programs, call or email the company’s customer service department. 

They will inform you about the program and provide instructions for returning the appliance. 

You have to cover the shipping costs. 

In some cases, you do not have to pay. Instead, the manufacturers will pay for the shipping as it is a part of their take-back program or package.

The stores that take back your old or broken microwaves are:

  • ApplianceSmart
  • Lowes
  • Office Depot 
  • Staples 
  • General Electric 
  • Independent Appliance Repair Stores

Appliance repair shops 

Consider the appliance repair shops once while looking for old microwave disposal ideas. 

Since the staff repair electrical appliances, they happily accept your old microwave. 

Even if the appliance is broken, the shop will fix and resell it. 

Or, they will take out the good parts and use them when someone else reaches their shop to repair a microwave or a damaged part inside it. 

Utility companies 

If you have old and inefficient microwaves, your local utility companies will take them off your hands happily. 

Many such power companies will collect old, inefficient electronic appliances for free, especially when you want to replace them with something new. 

Professional Disposal Services

It won’t be a cheap option to dispose of the microwave. 

Since professionals are involved, they will charge you fees. 

Professionals from the waste management company will come to your doorstep on a preferred date you choose and collect your old appliance and even dispose of it for you. 

Check online about the companies that provide such services in your area. Some will share about the costs too. 

Choose one accordingly and dispose of your microwave safely.

Contributing to a Sustainable Future

Disposing of the microwave is an excellent way to contribute to a sustainable future. 

By following the correct disposal methods, you are disposing of the microwave in an eco-friendly manner and contributing towards a sustainable future. 

Here are some differences you will make by disposing of the appliance and make a difference:

  • Recycling and appropriately disposing of the microwave will prevent the appliance from ending up in landfills, where it can release toxins and pollute the air, soil, and water sources. 
  • Recycling microwaves is vital for energy conservation and reducing resource extraction. We must take this responsibility for disposing of the microwave correctly for our environmental impact. 
  • Microwaves have harmful chemicals like lead and mercury that can harm the environment. But with proper recycling and disposal methods, these chemicals can be dealt with safely without causing any harm to nature. 
  • Recycling or disposing of microwaves safely will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Proper disposal allows the good parts inside the microwave to be reused, refurbished, and recycled to extend their lifespan. This way, you can reduce the demand for new resources and reduce waste. 
  • When disposing of the microwave properly, you set an example for others. Your correct actions will encourage others to do the right thing. 
  • Disposing of microwaves properly and responsibly allows you to address environmental challenges. When you take the proper steps to dispose of these E-wastes correctly, you contribute to a broader sustainable future. 
  • It also makes the policymakers implement strong regulations for E-waste management and recycling. 

Final thoughts

Throwing out electronic appliances is different from other ordinary household things. E-waste requires proper and eco-friendly disposal to avoid pollution and other issues. You should learn how to dispose of a microwave to prevent legal trouble and contribute to an environment-friendly and sustainable future. There are several methods to dispose of the microwave. You can donate or sell it offline or online and post ads. Send it to appliance stores, recycling centers, and utility companies. The staff will accept it, remove the good parts and reuse them to fix other microwaves. Contact your manufacturing companies or retailer shops to learn about take-back programs. 

The manufacturer or the retailers will take back the appliance to repair and use if there is still some life left, or take out the good parts and use them for repairing other microwaves. Check for special events and programs in your community, like Local Bulky Collections or Community Electronic Waste Events. Take your microwave to these events and give the event holders your appliance. You can also check out for professional disposal services and contact professionals to dispose of your microwave. They will reach your doorstep to receive it.

Before you dispose of your microwave, handle it carefully and prepare it for disposal. It includes unplugging the appliance, removing the food remains, cleaning the inside, shutting the door properly, and packaging it well to prevent further physical damage on the way to the destination. It is always better to dispose of the microwave in the correct methods to avoid pollution and contribute to a sustainable future.

How many years does a microwave last?

Generally, a microwave can last for 7 years. Proper maintenance can make it last a few years, and rough usage will reduce the lifespan. It depends on how you are using and treating it. 

Do old microwaves release radiation?

Old and broken microwaves often release radiation which can be harmful to us. So, please stop using the microwave and properly dispose of it to remain safe. 

Reference: E-waste Disposal Wikipedia

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Jeniffer Smith

Hi, I am Jeniffer Smith, a housemaker and blogger, and I grew up in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. I have been researching and fixing appliances and other things around the home and kitchen from a young age to help my single mother. Every time something went wrong, I couldn't rest until I fixed it. And ever since, I have enjoyed fixing things around my home, and I am always ready to help my friends and family with advice and hands-on help. Since we were always looking for affordable ways of fixing things, we rarely hired experts and tried to fix most things ourselves. That interest brought me to write for this blog, as I realized my knowledge could help many people trying to fix things around their homes on their own without spending hundreds of dollars.

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