July 25, 2024
A guide to responsible disposal of an old microwave. Learn about environmentally-friendly disposal methods, how to safely dispose of hazardous materials, and creative ideas for repurposing your old microwave.


When it comes time to upgrade your microwave, you might be wondering what to do with the old one. Simply throwing it away might seem like the easiest option, but it is not the most environmentally-friendly or responsible choice. In this article, we will explore ways to dispose of your old microwave that are better for the planet and provide a step-by-step guide to safely doing so. We will also offer creative ideas for repurposing your microwave, as well as helpful tips to avoid common mistakes. Let’s get started.

5 Environmentally-Friendly Ways to Dispose of Your Old Microwave

When you’re ready to dispose of your old microwave, there are several environmentally-friendly options to consider:

1. Recycling

Recycling your microwave is a great way to help the environment. Many recycling centers accept electronic devices, including microwaves, and will typically take care of the disassembly and safe disposal of hazardous materials. To find a local recycling center that accepts microwaves, check with your city or county government website or Earth911.com.

2. Donating

If your microwave is still in working condition, consider donating it to a local charity or thrift store. Many organizations will gladly accept donations of appliances and other electronics. Some may even offer pickup services for larger items like microwaves. Just be sure to check with the organization beforehand to ensure that they accept these types of donations.

3. Repurposing

Before disposing of your old microwave, consider repurposing it instead. There are several creative ways to do this, such as turning it into a pet bed or using it as a planter (which we’ll discuss in more detail in section IV).

4. Selling

If your microwave is still in good working condition, you may be able to sell it. Consider posting it on online marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Just be sure to include any necessary details, such as the age and condition of the microwave, and always meet in a public place for safety.

5. Trading In

If you’re buying a new microwave, some retailers may offer a trade-in program. This allows you to exchange your old microwave for a discount on a new one. Check with your retailer to see if they offer this service and what the requirements are.

Safely Getting Rid of Your Microwave: A Step-by-Step Guide

Before getting rid of your microwave, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure that it is safely disposed of. Follow these steps:

1. Unplug the Microwave

Before handling your microwave, make sure it is unplugged. This will reduce the risk of electrical shock when handling the wires and other components.

2. Remove Hazardous Materials

Microwaves contain hazardous materials, such as lead and mercury. It is important to properly dispose of these materials to prevent harm to the environment and people. Most microwaves have a high-voltage capacitor that stores electricity even when unplugged, so it is important to discharge it before handling it. You can do this by touching the capacitor’s terminals with an insulated long-handled screwdriver. Next, remove and dispose of any batteries and light bulbs from the microwave.

3. Dispose of the Microwave

Now that the hazardous materials have been removed, you can dispose of the microwave. If you plan to recycle or donate it, follow their specific instructions for drop-off or pickup. If you plan to throw it away, check with your local waste management facility for instructions on how to properly dispose of electronic waste. Do not simply throw it in the trash.

Maximizing the Use of Your Old Microwave: Creative Disposal Ideas

If you’re not ready to get rid of your old microwave just yet, consider repurposing it instead. Here are some creative ideas to get you started:

1. Turn it into a Planter

Remove the microwave’s electrical components from the inside and place a container with soil and plants inside for a funky planter.

2. Make a Pet Bed

Remove the microwave’s electrical components and place a cushion or pillow inside for a cozy bed for your furry friend.

3. Create a Storage Container

Remove the microwave’s electrical components and use the interior space to store items like kitchen utensils or office supplies.

The Dos and Don’ts of Throwing Away Your Microwave

When it comes to throwing away your microwave, there are certain dos and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Research local recycling centers or donation sites before throwing it away.
  • Dispose of hazardous materials, such as batteries and light bulbs, properly.
  • Consider repurposing your old microwave instead of throwing it away.


  • Simply throw it in the trash.
  • Disassemble it yourself without proper knowledge or safety precautions.
  • Assume that your local waste management facility will take care of it – check with them first.

Don’t Just Trash Your Microwave! Explore These Alternate Disposal Methods

Remember, there are many ways to dispose of your microwave responsibly. Don’t just assume that trashing it is the only option. Explore alternative methods, like recycling or donating, and make a difference for the environment. Additionally, you can check online resources like the Environmental Protection Agency or the Electronics TakeBack Coalition for more information on electronic disposal.


Disposing of electronics responsibly is important for the health of our planet. When it comes to microwaves, there are many environmentally-friendly ways to dispose of them, including recycling, donating, and repurposing. By following our step-by-step guide, you can safely and responsibly dispose of your old microwave. Remember to always research local resources before throwing away electronics, and consider alternate disposal methods whenever possible. Together, we can make a difference for the environment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *