If you have been steadily using your kitchen appliances, you may wonder how to dispose of an old microwave. Even the best microwaves, after all, can wear down over time, necessitating proper disposal. Keep reading to learn all about your options when it comes to getting rid of a microwave oven.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • If your microwave is still working, try selling it online or trading it in at a local thrift store.
  • If the microwave is no longer functioning, you can typically turn it in at a local electronic store, an appliance repair shop, or at a dedicated electronic waste recycling center.
  • You can also typically mail a broken microwave back to the original appliance manufacturer and these companies will often pay for the shipping of bulky items.

You may look to dispose of an old microwave if it stops working, runs into some other kind of issue, or simply if you have upgraded to the latest and greatest model. If you learn how to clean a microwave after a fire, for instance, and still find it lacking in the aesthetics department, it could be time for disposal.

Insider Tip

Many areas feature bulk pickup days in which garbage trucks may pick up old microwaves.

Getting Rid of an Old Microwave

There are a number of easy ways to dispose of an old microwave, several of which are listed below.

Sell or Donate

If your microwave oven still functions, even if it has some aesthetic blemishes, your best choice will likely be to sell or donate the unit. Post it on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or another online forum and be honest while writing the description, accurately noting any issues. Likewise, bring in the old microwave oven to a donation facility, such as a thrift store. Be sure to call ahead of time to find out if they are accepting large appliances at the moment. Space may be limited at these places, so it is a good idea to measure your microwave before bringing it in, in case you are wondering how big is a 1.6 cubic feet microwave.

Electronics Stores

Modern electronics stores, like Best Buy, may be able to accept your donated microwave, even if it is malfunctioning. These stores will strip the appliance of any valuable circuitry and reuse it in other products, recycling the rest via traditional means. Local mom-and-pop electronics stores could also offer this service. As always, call ahead of time to make sure they are accepting microwaves. Some areas also have dedicated e-waste recycling services.

Manufacturers

Many modern manufacturers will accept and recycle products that you purchase from them when they no longer work or when you are upgrading. These manufacturers should have a web portal on their official website with all applicable information, including mailing forms to print out and affix to the box. Some companies will even pay for the shipping cost.

F.A.Q.S

Do microwaves leak radiation?

Microwaves can leak trace amounts of radiation when they are old and malfunctioning, though it is not certain if it is at a dangerous level.


What stores accept old microwaves?

Best Buy does in some areas, though other areas may have special rules. Certain other big-box retailers accept microwaves but call ahead of time to any appliance stores in your area.


Can an old microwave simply be thrown in the trash?

This depends on your local regulations. Some areas consider microwaves to include hazardous waste and, as such, they will not be accepted at the garbage center or even by utility companies.



STAT: E-waste represents only 2% of America’s trash, but it makes up 70% of the overall toxic waste that enters our landfills.” (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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