What to Do with Broken Microwave Ovens [2024]

So, your microwave just zapped its last meal and now you’re stuck with a big chunk of electronic waste. What’s next? Tossing it into the landfill might be your first thought, but hold up—there are better ways to handle a busted microwave that are better for the planet and might even help someone else out. You can think about donating it, especially if it’s in a fixable condition. Sometimes, local charities or schools are on the lookout for electronics they can repair and reuse.

What to Do with Broken Microwave Ovens? Broken microwave ovens should be disposed of responsibly. Contact local waste management to check if they accept electronic waste, or take the microwave to a recycling center specializing in electronics. Some manufacturers also offer take-back programs for appliance recycling.

If donation isn’t an option, consider the environmental impact. Microwaves contain parts that can be hazardous if they end up in a landfill. Look into electronic waste pickup services in your area, which handle these kinds of items the right way. Also, platforms like Craigslist can be a great spot to list your old microwave. Someone might be interested in picking it up either for parts or to repair it. This way, you’re not just getting rid of it responsibly, but you could be helping someone out too!

Got a Broken Microwave? Here’s How to Dispose of It or Recycle

Got a Broken Microwave? Here’s How to Dispose of It or Recycle

When your microwave decides it’s done zapping your leftovers, you might be wondering how to get that bulky appliance off your hands without just tossing it into the trash. Here are some practical, easy-to-understand tips on how to dispose of a microwave, recycle it, or maybe even pass it on to someone who can use it.

Evaluate the Condition of Your Microwave

Before deciding the fate of your old microwave, check if it’s still in working condition or if it could be with some minor repairs. If it’s still functioning or fixable, appliance repair might be a viable option. Alternatively, you could donate a working microwave to a charity or give it away on platforms like Freecycle or Craigslist.

Recycling Your Microwave

Recycling is a responsible way to dispose of your microwave, especially considering the hazardous materials, like the magnetron, which can be harmful if not disposed of properly. Look up local recycling centers that accept electronics or check if your city has specific programs for recycling old appliances.

Safe Disposal Options

If your microwave is beyond repair and not suitable for recycling, you’ll want to ensure you’re disposing of it safely. Many areas have facilities for handling hazardous waste from electronics. Contact your local waste management to see if they offer pickup services for electronic waste or have designated drop-off days.

Selling or Scrapping

Even a non-working microwave might have some value. Scrap metal dealers might be interested in the metal parts, or you could sell it for parts on eBay or Craigslist. Just be clear about the condition it’s in to avoid any misunderstandings with buyers.

Upgrading to a New Microwave

If you’re getting rid of an old microwave because it’s time for an upgrade, make sure to dispose of your old model responsibly before bringing in the new one. Many retailers offer take-back programs where they handle the disposal of your old appliances when you buy a new one from them.

What’s the Best Way to Deal with an Old Microwave? Tips on Disposal and Recycling Options

What’s the Best Way to Deal with an Old Microwave? Tips on Disposal and Recycling Options

Dealing with an old microwave doesn’t have to be a headache. If you’ve upgraded or your microwave has stopped working, there are several straightforward options to consider that will help you get that old microwave off of your hands responsibly. Here’s a rundown on how to handle this common household dilemma without tossing it into the regular trash or leaving it to rust in a dumpster.

Check if the Microwave Still Works

First things first, figure out if your microwave still works. If it’s in decent shape but you’ve just upgraded to a newer model, consider giving it a second life. Donation centers often accept microwaves that are still working, and it could be a big help to someone in need. Not only does this keep a usable appliance out of the landfill, but it also supports your community.

Repair and Reuse

If your microwave is on the fritz but could be fixed, taking it to a repair shop might be the way to go. Some shops might even take the microwave off your hands to use it for parts to improve other microwaves. This is a great way to contribute to the circular economy, where parts are reused and recycled, extending the overall lifecycle of manufactured items.

Recycle Your Old Microwave

When a microwave is beyond repair, recycling is the next best step. Contact local e-waste recycling centers to see if they accept microwaves. These facilities specialize in safely breaking down electronics and responsibly managing the waste and old parts, including potentially hazardous materials found in microwaves.

Selling or Trading In

Some stores offer an incentive for your old microwave when you’re purchasing a new one. They might provide a discount on your new purchase or take your broken microwave to ensure it’s disposed of properly or recycled. Check with retailers to see if they have a trade-in program.

Creative Disposal Options

Lastly, if you’re looking to get rid of your used microwave quickly, posting it on platforms like Craigslist or Freecycle can be a good move. Specify that the microwave can be taken for parts or refurbishment. There’s often someone out there eager to tinker with old appliances or who needs just what you have.

In summary, when you’re ready to say goodbye to your old microwave, there are several environmentally friendly and community-supportive options available. From recycling your old microwave at an e-waste center to donating a still-working appliance, you can make a positive choice that suits your situation.


As we conclude our exploration of what to do with an old microwave, remember that every choice you make impacts your surrounding environment and community. Opting for local appliance repair can give your microwave a second life and reduce waste. Meanwhile, donation centers accept small appliances, providing an eco-friendly way to pass on unused kitchen tools that can still make a difference in someone’s life.

Be sure to call ahead and inquire whether retailers offer take-back programs or if manufacturers will take parts to manufacture new products. This can be a win-win, allowing you to clean out old items while ensuring they’re used in a responsible way.

Also, consider participating in cleanup days organized by many communities. These events often focus on collecting household hazardous waste and electronics recycling, ensuring that items like microwaves don’t end up unattended in a bin, contributing to the million tons of e-waste generated each year.

Finally, always think about the eco-friendly options available for waste removal. Whether it’s through recycling, donation, or simply ensuring that your old appliances don’t end up as landfill, your actions contribute to a larger effort to maintain the health and safety of our planet. Whether you’re cooking up quick recipes or seeking kitchen hacks, how you handle the disposal of your microwave and other appliances can significantly influence both your cleanout success and environmental footprint.

Frequently Asked Questions (What to Do with Broken Microwave Ovens)

What can I do with a broken microwave?

You can repurpose parts of a broken microwave for DIY projects, recycle its components at a local recycling center specializing in electronics, or contact the manufacturer for repair or recycling programs. Ensure safety by properly disassembling and avoiding exposure to the magnetron and capacitors.

What to do when your microwave breaks?

When your microwave breaks, first unplug it and check for obvious issues like a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker. If it’s not a simple fix, consult the manual for troubleshooting tips. Consider professional repair for complex issues or replace the microwave if it’s old or repair costs are high.

Do microwave ovens need to be recycled?

Yes, microwave ovens need to be recycled due to their electronic components and metals that can be harmful to the environment. Recycling centers and special programs often accept them, ensuring safe disposal and recovery of valuable materials.

What can be made from an old microwave?

An old microwave can be repurposed into various projects, such as a kitchen timer, a storage unit for non-metal items, or even disassembled to salvage its magnetron for DIY electronics projects, like making a homemade spot welder or experimenting with electromagnetism.

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