With all appliances, there comes the time when you have to get rid of them for one reason or the other. It could be that your microwave oven is broken or just plain outdated, and you are looking to get an upgrade. The question then is how do you dispose of that microwave?

Disposing of your microwave is a bit tricky because it is considered hazardous waste. So, you have three options: donating, selling, or recycling. Recycling is the best approach because it allows the functioning components to be used in other appliances, and it protects the environment by reducing waste.

This article will show you how to dispose of your microwave oven without messing up the environment or getting into any trouble with the law.

Are Microwave Ovens Considered Hazardous Waste?

Microwave ovens are often considered e-waste, which is another form of hazardous waste. E-waste refers to electronic products that are no longer functional or needed by their owners.

Microwave ovens contain toxic materials like mercury, cadmium, lead, beryllium, PVC plastics which eventually find their way into the groundwater. This situation leads to environmental pollution and can be harmful to the ecosystem in the long run.

Environmental sustainability is a big thing these days. More laws are being created to safeguard the environment, and offenders often have to pay huge fines or other penalties as specified by the law. So if you own a microwave oven that you no longer need, you need to know how to dispose of it without getting on the wrong side of the law.

Best Ways to Get Rid of Your Microwave (3 Options)

The way you go about disposing of your microwave oven depends on the condition of the oven. You would need to handle a broken oven differently from a functional microwave that you are simply tired of using.

You could opt for any of the following options when looking to dispose of your microwave: donations, sale, or recycling. Let’s look at each of these options.


If your microwave is still in working condition, one of the best ways to dispose of it is to donate it. That way, you would be killing two birds with a stone.

On the one hand, you get to dispose of an appliance that no longer serves you. On the other hand, you are gifting it out to someone somewhere who needs it.

There are several ways to go about this. The first would be to post an ad on sites like Craig’s List. If you are on social media, you could post a flyer on any of those platforms or on any online forum. There are also several places designed to accept stuff like your old microwave oven. We will be talking about them later on in the article.

The best part about donating your microwave is that you won’t be breaking any laws; plus, you would be helping someone in need.


Recycling an old microwave is one of the best ways to dispose of it because it doesn’t harm the environment. Those microwave parts that are still in good condition can be retrieved and used in manufacturing new products.

At the same time, the rest of the microwave is dispatched so that the environment is not polluted.

There is a caveat with recycling your microwave, though. You would have to find out what the local laws are about recycling microwaves. You’d also need to find an authorized recycling center.

You can always get this information by checking online or asking where you got your microwave at the store.

Sell Your Microwave Oven

Selling your microwave oven is another great way to dispose of your old microwave. It is an excellent option if your microwave is still working well and you no longer need it. It is a win-win situation since you get to put some money in your pocket while getting rid of something that no longer serves you.

That said, you’d need to ensure that the microwave still works and isn’t making strange noises. It also needs to be presentable enough for someone to want to pay for it. Once that is settled, selling the microwave should be a breeze because there will always be someone who needs a microwave but cannot afford a brand new one.

You could get buyers from your network of friends, families, neighbors, and colleagues. If that doesn’t work, you could always go online and advertise your microwave there. There are tons of websites like OLX, Amazon, eBay, or Craigslist that cater to the sale of used items like your microwave.

Disposing of a microwave.

Where Can You Dispose of a Microwave?

As a result of the strict regulations guiding the management of hazardous wastes, it is not enough to know how to dispose of your microwave oven. You also need to know the places that are designated for the disposal of old or broken microwaves.

The good news is that there are tons of disposal centers around you. Some of these places that will take an old microwave include e-waste recyclers, retail stores, and utility companies.

So getting rid of your microwave will require only a little effort to find out where these places are and take your microwave there. Here are some of the best places to dispose of your microwave:

  • E-Waste Recyclers: These are outfits that pick up e-waste like your microwave oven from commercial customers. You get the option of having them pick it up or you dropping it off at their office.
  • Electronic Stores: This is a great place to dispose of a relatively new microwave you are looking to get rid of. Depending on the condition of the microwave, these stores can even recycle your microwaves for you.
  • The Manufacturer: You also get the chance to dispose of your microwave with the manufacturers. Some of the more popular microwave brands will repurpose the metal parts and circuitry of your old microwave. It is a great option to explore, especially if you are looking to get another microwave from the same company and repurpose them for other purposes.
  • Utility Companies: Your local utility company might be another excellent option for you to dispose of your microwave. These companies often collect old, inefficient microwave ovens, and this service comes in handy if you intend to replace the microwave with them.
  • Retail Stores: Some big retailer brands provide e-waste drop-off boxes where you could quickly drop off your microwave oven whenever you choose to. You might need to make inquiries first.
  • Reuse Electronic Shops: These are places that can fix your microwave and sell them for you. In some instances, they take it apart to retrieve those parts that could be used as spare parts.
  • Online Marketplaces: These are places where you can either sell or donate your old but functional microwave oven. One of such places is Craig’s list.

Can You Throw Away a Microwave in a Dumpster?

It depends on your location and the rules governing the disposal of microwaves in that area. The laws governing the disposal of e-wastes vary from place to place. Microwaves might be seen as hazardous waste in some cities and countries, so throwing away your microwave in a dumpster might be legal.

On the flip side, there might be a different classification for microwaves in other regions, so throwing away your microwave in a dumpster could amount to an offense.

Thankfully you can always learn about the laws surrounding the classification and disposal of microwaves in your locality. So get the necessary information ASAP to avoid breaking the law.

Will Scrap Metal Take Microwaves?

Microwave ovens contain specific components that can fetch a reasonable price when sold as spare parts. Some of these parts which are worth money include the transformer, capacitor, panels, heavy-duty wire, and magnetron. You could always recoup some of your investments from your broken microwave.

Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where Can I Get a Broken Microwave?

There are several online and offline places where you could get a broken microwave. Craigslist is one of the best online places to get one. You could make inquiries at your local stores as to where you can get one.

Are There Any Microwave Parts Worth Selling?

Yes, there are lots of microwave parts that are worth selling once they are in good condition. Some of these parts include the transformer, capacitor, panels, heavy-duty wire, and magnetron.

Do Old Microwaves Leak Radiation?

Yes, they do. An old or broken microwave with some faulty parts will leak radiation when in use.  If you are using an old microwave, stand back while it is operating.  The FDA reports that microwave readings 20 inches (50 cm) from an oven are approximately 1/100th the reading at 2 inches (5 cm).

How Many Years Does a Microwave Last?

It depends on your maintenance culture. If handled correctly, the average microwave is built to last and can serve you for at least seven years. If you use your microwave frequently for large meals, you may need to replace it within four to five years.

Can You Throw a Microwave in the Trash?

You shouldn’t just throw away your microwave in the trash. The reason is that microwaves contain some non-biodegradable components that can pollute the environment.

Key Takeaways

Disposing of your microwave is a necessary but tricky situation because you need to get rid of it responsibly. Some of the best ways to dispose of your oven include donating, recycling, or selling the microwave.

Each of these options depends on the condition of the microwave and what you intend to do afterward. Once you have ascertained both situations correctly, then opt for the method that works best for you.

Related: The Best Paint for Microwave Interiors

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