How to Dispose of a Microwave: It’s Easier Than You Expected!

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Stumped on how to get rid of your old microwave?

You might be tempted to toss it in your trash, and expect your garbage men to deal with it. Or you may be considering throwing it in a dumpster somewhere near your home. However, doing so can result in fines and a stink eye from municipal workers.

So how to dispose of a microwave?

Whether you want to recycle a microwave oven or simply throw it out, there is a little effort involved. While there isn’t much you need to do, you must be aware of certain laws and legalities.

This article will look at how you can dispose of microwave ovens safely and in the easiest way possible. We will also look at things to do with an old microwave and how to dispose of a broken microwave without any legal issues.

So if you have a microwave that you no longer have any use for, this article will be of use to you. With all that being said, let’s find out how to get rid of your rusty old microwave!

How Do You Dispose of a Microwave Oven?

how to dispose of a microwave

Throwing out an old microwave in your garbage can or dumpster, your county or city incur a fine on you. Different places have different laws on how to dispose of home appliances. If you have permission from the city, you can toss it in a dumpster.

However, some places consider microwaves and appliances as e-waste so they have special rules for their disposal. Your city or municipality’s website will generally have instructions or guidelines on how to get rid of it.

If there is no specific mention on how to throw out the microwave, then there is a good chance that you can dispose of it in a dumpster without any issue. 

Nonetheless, your best bet would be to notify the local authorities and ask them if you can throw it out in your area’s landfill. Most cities will allow you to do so in exchange for a small fee.

Bulk trash pick-up days are also another easy way to properly dispose of a microwave. Cities and localities have a separate day every year when they collect trash in bulk. On those specific days, you can leave your old microwave out with the rest of your trash for the collectors.

As a result, you can find out the bulk pick-up trash day, and make use of it to get rid of your microwave without any extra charge. This is a good and easy way to dispose of your appliances, as long as you are willing to hold on to it until then.

So in short, the best way to throw out your old microwave is to make sure you can dispose of it in your dumpster, leave it in a landfill, and wait for bulk trash pick-up days. These are the easiest ways to do so, although you may need to pay a small fee or do a bit of research.

Recycling Your Old Microwave

recycle microwave oven

Instead of straight-up throwing out your microwave, you can recycle it instead. This will be better for the environment and small communities. Here’s how you can recycle or repurpose your microwave and put it to good use.

Donate It:

If your microwave still works, there’s no reason you need to throw it out. There are many second-hand stores and charity shops that accept old microwaves that work well. Giving away your old microwave is a good way to make sure someone else who needs it gets to use it.

E-Waste Recyclers:

Recycling your microwave by way of an e-waste recycler might just be your best bet. These organizations will generally pick up e-waste from commercial customers. Even if pick-ups are not a thing where you live, you can contact one and ask if you can drop it off at their location.

Electronic Stores:

If your microwave is relatively new, it will have some fancy, functioning circuitry inside. Even if the external components of the microwave are broken, as long as the circuits still work, they have some value.

Many electronic stores will take microwaves and recycle them for you. In return, they will repurpose the metals in the circuitry. There can be local electronic stores near you that accept microwaves for their circuitry. This is also a good way to dispose of water heaters and similar appliances.

How to Get Rid of Old or Broken Microwaves

Broken Microwaves

There are still yet other ways to dispose of ineffective or inefficient microwaves. This is also the case for old-fashioned microwaves and if you are planning on replacing them with a newer model.

The Manufacturer:

Many well-known appliance companies might be able to send it back to them for free. The company reuses the metal parts and components of circuitry and repurpose them for other purposes.

Certain appliance manufacturers are even willing to pay for the shipping costs so they can recycle your unit properly. Your chances of success will improve even more if you are planning to buy your new microwave from the manufacturer in question.

Utility Companies:

If you have a particularly old or inefficient microwave, your local utility company will be happy to take it off your hands. There are lots of power companies that will collect old, inefficient appliances for free, especially if you’re planning on replacing them with something newer.

Drop Offs at Retail Stores:

Some major retailers have e-waste drop-off boxes at the front of their chains. Before taking your microwave off to one of these stores, make sure to contact the chain first to confirm that they will accept microwaves as a part of their drop-off program. Not all retailers will accept large and bulky appliances like microwaves.

Reuse Electronic Shops:

Keep a lookout for appliance repair amenities in your area that will agree to take the microwave off of your hands. These stores will either repair it and sell it or take it apart for parts to improve other microwaves. However, this method needs a bit of research and calling up different stores.

Online Marketplaces:

If all else fails and you have a microwave that is still working, you can always donate it or sell it at a very low price on places like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. There are always broke college students and people moving out who need an inexpensive (or free) microwave.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Below you’ll find answers to questions we get asked the most about how to dispose of a microwave.

01. Is It Safe to Throw Away a Microwave?

Because microwaves have many electronic components, it can be dangerous to throw a microwave in the trash as it can negatively impact the environment.

02. Do Old Microwaves Leak Radiation?

Yes, old and broken microwaves often leak radiation when they are operating. As a result, it is best to stop using them and dispose of them safely.

03. How Many Years Does a Microwave Last?

The average microwave can work for 7 years before it starts malfunctioning.

04. How Do I Remove Bad Smell from the Microwave?

  • Add a tablespoon of white vinegar to a microwave-safe bowl with ½ cup of water.
  • Microwave this for approximately 2 minutes, but don’t open the microwave door for another 10 minutes.
  • The steam from the water will cause the odorous particles stuck to the inside to be loosened, and the vinegar will deodorize the interior of the vacuum.

06. Can You Throw a Microwave in the Trash?

Throwing a microwave in the trash will damage the environment and can cause significant trouble to trash collectors.

07. Can I Take Apart My Old Microwave at Home?

You can easily disassemble an old microwave by yourself. You just need to make sure that the unit is unplugged and that you don’t take apart the magnetron. Here’s a step by step guide on how to do it.

In Short

As you can see, throwing out appliances isn’t the same as discarding other ordinary household items. Knowing how to dispose of a microwave will help you get rid of it without getting fined or running into any sort of legal trouble. 

The good news is that there are lots of ways to get rid of this useful household appliance. So start doing the legwork and you will be able to dispose of your microwave in no time at all!