February 14

Where Can I Recycle My Microwave? – Learn 6 Ways


Author: Gisele Perez
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If you have an old microwave that cannot be repaired, you might be wondering where to recycle it as it not only dangerous but also illegal to simply throw your old appliance in the trash.

Appliances like fridge or microwave cannot be tossed around. You have to be sure they are properly disposed off for the safety of the environment.

So the simplest answer to the question “Where can I recycle my microwave oven?” is to look at the instruction manual. Depending upon the internal components of the oven, the instruction manual will guide you likewise.

However, if you are still unsure, then in this article we will aim to provide you with some general tips and info.

We will also learn why you need to recycle your microwave, and above all, what can you do other than recycling to get rid of your old appliance.

Lets first see why you simply can’t toss your old appliance in a garbage can.

Also Read: How to Remove Yellow Stains from Microwave?

What is E-Waste?

E Waste
Image courtesy of Namo E-Waste Management Ltd.

Electronics appliances like fridge, television, CD players or microwave etc, can’t be disposed of by just throwing them in the bin.

These appliances may have hazardous chemicals and components that can be harmful to animals, humans, and even our environment.

Even small phones or toys are not safe for throwing into the garbage.

These appliances may have metals like mercury, chromium, lead that can cause heavy-metal poisoning. They may also contain cancer-causing elements.

Also Read: What Size Microwave Do I Need?

Why Should E-waste be Recycled?

According to World Health Organization, there are number of reasons why Electronic Waste should be recycled.

Toxic Substances

How leaching and groundwater pollution works. Source: Canada.ca

As mentioned earlier electronic appliances have a toxic substances and chemical like lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, or beryllium that can cause myriad of health issues if exposed.

One of the biggest issue here is Leaching. Basically, if you throw your appliance or its electronic parts in the garbage without proper care, the chemicals literally leach into the ground contaminating the groundwater source as well as a large swath of soil.

Children are Most Vulnerable

Children, in their innocence, are at the highest risk of exposure to chemical waste both airborne as well as on ground according to WHO.

Therefore, utmost care should be taken to make sure the disposed of E-Waste is far away from the reaches of children.

Saves Energy

Appliances like microwave contain valuable metals and other material that can be easily reused. Properly recycling these appliances can save energy as you can use the existing raw material for making new things relying less on land resources.

Parts like metal, glass, or plastic can easily be recycled and turned into raw material that can be used for making new things.

Source of Income

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Your E-waste contains valuable substances and parts. The local recyclers and trash collectors can turn them into a source of income.

This in turn will bring in new jobs and uplift the society as a whole.

Can We Consider Microwave Oven an E-waste?

Where Can I Recycle My Microwave
Chemical like beryllium oxide, thorium and tungsten present in microwave ovens are a serious health hazard if left exposed.

Yes, the microwave is also considered an E-waste and is among those appliances that you are not allowed to simply toss-off.

Microwave oven is composed of several electrical elements including magnetron, that can be significantly dangerous to the environment.

Other components include capacitor, transformer, diodes, micro controller etc. These components use chemicals like berrylium oxide, thorium, tungsten that are all highly dangerous for health.

Where Can I Recycle My Microwave?

If your microwave oven has become out-dated or if it does not function well, you can still make use of it in certain ways. Here are some of the suggestions for recycling or disposing off your microwave.

1. Send it for Repair

If it is just a matter of your microwave not working properly, you can simply repair it.

Microwave ovens can easily be repaired, and some parts can be changed or upgraded so that the appliance remains in working condition.

Repairing might charge you a few bucks, but you can sell it on a better price if it is in working condition.

This way not only would you have re-used an old appliance, you would also have saved up on money.

2. Donate Your Microwave

Many unfortunate ones would appreciate your kind gesture. If it is still in working condition and you no longer need it then donate the microwave to any NGO or organizations for the homeless.

There are people or organizations in every community who can make use of what is just a waste for you.

So donate what you no longer need.

3. Sell off in the Scrap

Another good way of disposing of your worn-out microwave is to sell it off as scrap.

You can sell it to special garage sales or to people who collect junk and scrap and earn some easy cash as well.

These scrap collectors will carefully remove the electronic parts and turn the metal parts into use.

You may not earn very much from selling the old microwave, but you sure can get rid of the junk that is covering space in your storeroom safely.

4. Call Your Nearest Recycling Center

You can throw the microwave in the garbage, but it is not that simple. The state laws do not allow you to throw off the microwave or other such appliances in the garbage.

You can search online for a local recycling center near your home. These centers specialized in stripping the microwaves apart and removing the valuable parts. Rest can go into scrap.

You can call the center in advance to make sure they accept microwave. You can ask them to pick up the microwave from your home that will save you from many hassles.

5. Check with Manufacturers

You can contact the manufacturer and inquire if they take old and worn-out microwaves.

Some manufacturers have the policy of helping customers to get rid of their old appliances. They will help you replace your microwave with something new.

Some even offer a little discount if you are replacing the old appliance with the new one.

6. Contact the Local Trash Services

If you don’t have an e-waste recycling center near your home, you can contact the local garbage or trash center as well.

Call them and request them to pick up the microwave from your home.

You may have to pay some extra fee for calling them in. You can also drop off the microwave to trash center yourself to avoid the charges.

Final Words

Recycling your old microwave may take some though and time, but being a responsible citizen, you should always opt for a proper and environmental-friendly way to dispose of any old appliance.

If you were wondering “Where can I recycle my microwave?”, then we hope this article at least guided you to the right path.

From selling off for cash to giving it up for donation, the way you can recycle your microwave oven are many.


1. Does Best Buy recycle microwaves?

With a few exceptions, Best Buy accepts most electronics and large appliances. All stores in the United States, including those in Puerto Rico, have in-store recycling services for consumers' outdated, unused, or discarded consumer electronics, regardless of where they were bought.

2. Do scrap yards take microwaves?

Yes, scrap yards will take microwaves. They are typically made of metal, which is what scrap yards are interested in. Be sure to remove the glass plate and any plastic parts before bringing it in, as those materials are not recyclable.

3. Can you throw a microwave in a dumpster?

Yes, you can definitely throw a microwave in a dumpster. It's best to remove the door and any removable parts before doing so, as these can be recycled or repurposed. Be sure to wrap the microwave in a few garbage bags before tossing it in the dumpster to avoid spills.

4. How do you dispose of a microwave oven?

The best way to dispose of a microwave oven is to take it to a recycling center. Many recycling centers will accept microwaves, and they will recycle the parts properly.

5. How much money can you get for scrapping a microwave?

The amount of money you can get for scrapping a microwave depends on the weight of the microwave and the scrap metal prices at the time of scrapping. Typically, a microwave will weigh between 10 and 20 pounds, so you could expect to receive between $10 and $20 for it.

About the author

Gisele Perez

When not giving in-home, hands-on cooking classes, or developing recipes, Gisele "cooks" wonderful posts for us. She writes about various topics related to cooking appliances and cooking methods.


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