Cooking, defrosting, or heating our food and drinks becomes a straightforward matter when we have a microwave.
We do not have to change the container (as long as it is not metallic), we put it in a few minutes, and that’s it. This is because microwaves transform electricity into electromagnetic waves of a short length.
Sometimes this device is so simple to use that it seems essential. Therefore, when they break down, we usually take a short time to replace them. The question is: Can I throw away a microwave? Now we will see what we can do.
Is a microwave recyclable?
Microwaves, like most appliances, are completely recyclable. Good news! It is important to recycle them because abandoned in landfills they can contain chemicals or objects harmful to the environment that could be used.
Microwaves, like most appliances, go to the clean point. Usually, they will have a container for all these household utensils.
Normally, the municipalities have a collection service for this type of waste in the usual containers in the neighborhoods. Ask, since it is usually one day a week at a specific time.
How to recycle a microwave?
Microwaves are small but complex devices. They have many materials inside: different types of metals, plastics, glass …
For this reason, the recycling process consists mainly of dismantling them and classifying the different materials that make them up to recycle each one of them and leave it ready for new uses.
After separating the elements, they are usually crushed for easier transportation. Also, they go through new filters, such as magnetic filters, to definitively separate all those materials that must be elsewhere.
And ready! It will be taken to smelting plants to re-introduce them into the production process.
What is done with it later?
Depending on the material, very different lives can be given to the components of a microwave. For example, copper is often used for wiring, plastic to create new packaging, and glass for packaging as well.
All are advantages: reduction of waste in landfills (which do not stop growing and contaminate soils), reduction of the use of raw materials, contamination, and costs. Let’s recycle!
Get a discount on your new microwave
Before you throw away the old microwave and buy the new one, ask your store if they have any kind of discount plan by delivering your old microwave. Usually, they’ll pick it up when they bring you the new one, but be sure or you’ll find two microwaves at home.
Can you put a microwave in a dumpster?
This strongly differs per area. In some areas, electronics in small quantities are allowed. Others won’t allow you to throw your microwave in the dumpster. Also, some areas allow you to throw electronics in your dumpster, but there is an additional charge per item.
In California, for example, it is illegal to throw electronics in the dumpster. So contact your local waste disposal service to be sure.
Donate it or give it away
If the microwave is not in awful condition, but you change it for a better, more modern one or because you have been given one, think of those who may need it and cannot afford it. Ask in nearby NGOs (Non-governmental organizations), there are many neighborhood organizations or associations that are dedicated to collecting these objects for the neediest.
Some non-profits collect electronics and sell them. The profit they make, they can use for their projects.
Where can I donate electronics?
There are multiple different non-profits who take care of families in need in the U.S. These are some examples:
The Salvation Army – When you donate goods to The Salvation Army, those items are then sold at our Family Stores. And the proceeds are used to fund our Adult Rehabilitation Centers, where those struggling with drugs and alcohol find help, hope, and a second chance at life. Go to their website.
Habitat for Humanity – Habitat ReStores are home improvement stores that accept small and large donations of new or gently used furniture, appliances, housewares, building materials and more. Proceeds from the sales of these items help Habitat’s work in your community and around the world. Check out their website.
So now you know how to properly dispose of your microwave oven. You can choose to recycle it, to donate it or give it away. In some areas, you can even throw it in the dumpster but check with your local waste disposal service to avoid a fine.