Written by Russel Fitzjohn on April 15, 2024

Step-By-Step Guide: How To Throw Out A Microwave Responsibly

Got an old microwave you're itching to get rid of? Before you toss it in the trash, hold up a minute. It's crucial to know that microwaves fall into the category of electronic waste, or e-waste, and improper disposal can negatively impact our environment.

Doing your part to reduce unwanted and toxic waste starts with understanding how to properly dispose of a microwave. Old microwave disposal isn't as straightforward as getting rid of other household trash. There are guidelines established to protect the environment from the electronic components within microwaves that, if mishandled, could pose serious ecological hazards.

So, before you decide to take your worn-out appliance to the dumpster in the dead of night, pause for a moment and think. What's the most eco-friendly option? Understanding your local laws and regulations toward microwave disposal is crucial to evade legal issues or fines.

First things first, if your microwave has reheated its last plate of leftovers and it's past the point of no return, you might wonder—can I put a broken microwave in the trash? Well, the answer is a firm no.

Here's why:

  • Microwaves contain electronic components that could leach toxic substances into the groundwater in landfills.
  • Even though your microwave is broken, it could still be refurbished in the hands of a skilled technician.

Think of your microwave not merely as a chunk of metal waste but as a resource awaiting proper utilization.

Tossing microwaves can damage the soil, pollute the air, and even harm marine life. That's why it's best to explore other disposal methods, like recycling. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it's also a way to recover valuable materials from old electronics.

But don't worry, there are plenty of options available. From mailing it in for recycling to donating it to a local school or non-profit, you've got choices. Let's dive into how you can responsibly throw out your microwave:

Assess the Condition of Your Microwave

Before you jump straight into disposing of your microwave, it's important to assess the condition of your unit. This step is vital as it can determine whether you should sell, donate, or responsibly discard your microwave.

If your microwave is in good shape and functioning smoothly, selling it might be a smart move. Remember to compare your specific model with similar ones on online platforms for competitive pricing. Opt for a lower price if you want a quick sale, or go up a notch if you have a luxury brand. Posting photos with a detailed description to sites such as eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or OfferUp could help you make some money off it. In your quest to sell used appliances, consider effective presentation strategies. Post clear, well-lit photographs of your microwave, and don't sidestep showing any present damages. Include vital details like whether the microwave is built-in or freestanding, the brand, the year, and overall condition.

Donating your microwave could be a suitable option if it's still in working condition. With many donation centres accepting small appliances, this could save you the hassle of online listings. Clean your microwave, and hand it over to your chosen place, be it a local non-profit, the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, or the MCC.

If you start encountering serious electrical issues, it’s time to properly dispose of it. Beware of sparking or unusual electricity consumption. Flying sparks spell danger as they may cause a fire.

Pay special attention to the door of your microwave. It should close tightly to ensure radiation stays inside. Any difficulties in shutting the door warrant a closer inspection for possible causes. It could be anything from a loose screw to food crammed in the doorway. Nevertheless, an unresolved issue could signal that it's time to bid farewell to your microwave.

If you need to dispose of your microwave, opt for a junk removal service like Super Junk. With its responsible and eco-friendly disposal methods, you're not only clearing up space at home but also contributing positively to the environment.

Research Local Recycling Options

When tossing your old microwave, it's not as simple as setting it on the curb. In Manitoba, you should take it to a recycling centre to prevent electronic waste (e-waste) from ending up in landfills. Mother Earth Recycling is one of the proper places in Winnipeg to drop off a broken microwave.

Another option to explore is a junk removal company. These services ensure your old microwave is properly handled, especially when you have other items that need throwing away, too. These services are charged by the truckload and remove the burden of hauling cumbersome items like microwaves from your home.

Check for Donation Programs

Before deciding to throw out your microwave, check for donation programs. When your microwave is still working perfectly and you're merely upgrading or changing your kitchen's look, donation is a viable option. You could give it to a student heading to college or donate it to a local school, church, or non-profit organization. Thrift stores and local Facebook giveaway groups offer hassle-free ways to rehome your microwave.

Independent appliance stores often have microwave recycling programs. You might be surprised that some provide store credits or other incentives for buying their new product. This is a win-win move for you if you’re looking to upgrade your appliance. Moreover, if you own electronics from major manufacturers like Bosch, GE, or LG, they offer recycling programs for their brands. By visiting their websites and entering your postal code, you'll see the nearest drop-off location.

No matter which route you take, one thing is sure—your decision to donate your unwanted microwave in a way that is good for the environment is a commendable step. Explore the various options you have and choose what works best for you.

Dispose of the Microwave Properly

As responsible citizens, we can take small actions that have a big collective impact on our environment. So, let's do it right, safely, legally, and eco–friendly–properly dispose of your microwave. You'll not only get peace of mind but also contribute to a cleaner and safer environment for all.


So there you have it. Discarding your old microwave isn't a task you should take lightly. It's about making the right choices for both the environment and your personal safety. Whether you choose to sell, donate or recycle, always remember that the way you dispose of your microwave matters. Reach out to manufacturers for proper disposal guidelines or opt for Winnipeg junk removal services. Every step you take toward responsible disposal makes a significant difference. Let's all do our part to keep our planet clean and safe.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can usually drop it off at a local e-waste centre or contact the appliance manufacturer for guidance on any take-back programs.
Yes, the transformer in most microwaves is a common source of copper. It can be repurposed for various items, from spot welders to electromagnets.
Absolutely! Scrappers often consider microwaves a jackpot. They're easy to break down, and the space inside can conveniently be stuffed with scrap steel afterward.
The ideal placement for a microwave is in an appliance cabinet. This not only neatens the kitchen but also accommodates smaller models without compromising on ventilation.
No, do not dispose of microwaves or other electronic equipment in regular household trash because of the negative environmental impact. Instead, find a dedicated recycling centre that accepts these items.

Article written by 
Russel Fitzjohn

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