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A Guide on What To Do With a Broken Microwave


Getting yourself through a busy work week with a family in tow is draining, to put it mildly. Any appliance that saves time with the daily demands of home life is a worthy investment – like having a dishwasher in your kitchen to wash all the dishes after mealtime, over washing by hand is a gamechanger.

Microwaves are becoming increasingly popular in urban households, and for good reason. If you are a single-person household or a family where both the adults are working, it can considerably make your life easier.

A microwave is easy to operate, easy to clean and easily allows you to heat your food. Given the number of benefits it comes with, it won’t be wrong to call it a kitchen superstar. And with the growing availability of healthy “ready meals” this once frowned upon cooking appliance is now treated in the same regarded as any oven or cooker.

But at the end of the day, a microwave is also an electronic device. It comes with a shelf life no matter how well you maintain it. It’s going to get old, break down, get worn out and will need to be disposed of, responsibly.

Disposing of an old broken microwave safely is crucial. Microwaves do not actually contain toxins, chemicals, or radiation, which would limit their disposal options. However, it is still household e-waste and can’t be treated as regular rubbish.

Here are a few ways to get rid of an old broken microwave, without simply binning it.

E-Waste Recycle Centres

recycle old microwave

Since a broken microwave has no further use for you, give it away to an e-waste recycler who will put some parts of it to use.

Your local council should have a recycling centre for household waste. A quick Google search for “recycle centre” will show you all the places nearest to you that will take your old microwave away for recycling.

Or enter your postcode into the governments Recycling Collections service to find your nearest centre.

They may do pickups, but most often you’ll have to drop the appliance off at them. They’ll have a specific area at the centre for disposal of microwaves and whitegoods, and staff are always around to point you in the right direction.

Retailer Removal and Recycling

Certain electronics and large appliance retailers such as Currys and AO will come to your home and take your old broken microwave away for recycling – either for free, as part of a deal when you buy a new appliance, or for a small fee.

For example, Currys collects and recycles a whopping 65,000 tons of electrical appliance waste from homes across the UK every year. When they deliver your shinny new appliance they take your old one away, for free. You don’t even need to have bought your old microwave from them.

Any old appliances that Currys take away will end up at one of their approved recycling partners, where they’ll check if it can be reused, or recycled for materials like plastics and metals.

Other appliances will be brought back to their depot for inspection. If the old appliance has some lifespan left in it, they’ll find a new home for it. This process has helped over 90,000 low income families get access to perfectly refurbished appliances, and saving around 7,500 tons of co2 from the planet.

This kind of disposal service gives you peace of mind that you’re doing the ethical thing with your unwanted appliance. Instead of mindlessly binning them, you’re helping people and the planet.

Put Bulk Trash Pickup Days to Use

Most inner cites have a regular bulk rubbish pickup day. Use that to dispose of your old, broken microwave, as this will often make it’s way to be recycled. You would need to do some research to mark your calendar in advance.

Homeowners usually look forward to big trash days as they can get rid of all their broken devices at once at a small fee while also doing their bit for the environment.

Consider Selling Individual Parts

A microwave is a complex appliance. If it is worn out or broken, you may consider taking it apart and selling a few parts for a few bucks (remember, you aren’t going to make a fortune out of it).

You can disassemble the microwave and see which parts can be useful. If you don’t know how to operate electrical appliances, better take help from a professional. The parts that can usually be sold in the scrap market include vent fans, table trays and magnetrons.

A repair store could be your best bet to sell these because they regularly need these parts to fix machines coming their way.

Dispose Of Your Microwave in a Landfill

If you can’t find a retailer that will to collect your microwave, or it’s to difficult for you to take to a recycling centre, you could always chuck it in the bin as a last resort. We understand that elderly and disable, those on a low income who don’t drive may struggle to take their microwave away for recycling.

Consider this only after you have tried all the other options. Unlike fridges that can leak gasses and oils into the environment, microwaves don’t, I would not pose any harm going to a landfill.

Why Should You Be Responsible for Disposing Of Your Microwave?

When an appliance breaks down, our first impulse can be to simply bin it. But with rapid climate change, each one of us must do our bit to take part in the responsibility of protecting the planet.

If not disposed of properly, some e-waste can wreak havoc on the planet by releasing toxins harmful to humans, plants and animals.

By choosing to recycle your broken microwave, you will be contributing to protecting the environment. A recycled microwave can be used to make smaller appliances or materials such as metal and plastic which could be put to use in multiple ways.

Parting Words

Disposing of microwaves could be tiresome, but certainly not unmanageable. There are tons of options to do the needful. Your microwave manufacturer would be the best place to start looking for options. If not, you already know what other options are available to you.

If your microwave is worn out but working, consider donating it to a thrift shop or charity instead of dumping it. Better to put it to use than discard it!

Related: Top Small Kitchen Microwave Picks