How to Dispose of a Microwave

A microwave is a fixture of practically every home in America, but like any appliance, they do have a lifespan. Eventually the time may come where you need to get rid of an old microwave — but you may be wondering how to dispose of a microwave. Is it safe to throw away a microwave? For items like this, proper disposal is key, so don’t plan on just throwing it out with the rest of your household trash. Here we’ll explain how to dispose of a microwave that’s past its prime.

How to Dispose of a Microwave That’s Still Functioning

Often people may wish to dispose of a microwave simply because they’re buying a new one with a nicer aesthetic or upgraded features. In this case, consider selling or donating it instead of resorting to microwave disposal. Your local thrift store may accept microwaves, and this could also be a tax write-off for you. You could also try selling it for a low price on a website such as Craigslist or LetGo.

Should You Replace or Repair a Broken Microwave?

When microwaves begin to malfunction, your first inclination may be to seek out an appliance repair shop. Some appliance manufacturers will also provide microwave warranties that include appliance repair inside a particular time frame.

But first, consider whether or not this is cost effective. These days retail stores sell microwaves for as little as $30, meaning throwing away and replacing your microwave oven may be far more cost effective than getting it fixed.

Before you throw out your microwave, look into whether the store where you purchased it will take back defective appliances. If you haven’t owned it very long, you may be able to return it and get a new appliance instead of taking it to the trash.

Can an Old Microwave Simply Be Thrown in the Trash?

If your microwave has truly bitten the dust and you’ve determined that repair or replacement parts isn’t a feasible option, it’s time for disposal. Due to the materials and components of a microwave, they can be considered hazardous waste or household hazardous waste depending on regulations in your area. More specifically, microwaves are electronic waste, also called e waste. Getting rid of e waste will take a bit more effort than simply throwing it in your regular household trash.

First, try reaching out to your community trash service and finding out what they suggest for microwave disposal. Some trash services will pick up these appliances as part of their bulk trash pickup collection program, which is typically offered once a month for free or a small charge. If this service is available in your area, you may simply be able to set the appliance out on the curb. Alternatively, you may need to take your microwave to a recycling center to drop it off.

Is Recycling Appropriate for an Old Microwave?

The best and most eco-friendly way to get rid of a microwave or other appliances is recycling. However, you likely can’t just place your microwave in your usual recycling bin.

Look for an electronic recycling center in your community and call ahead to ensure they accept microwaves. You can also search for e-recycling centers in your area that will take microwaves on a website like Earth911 or These centers generally use appliances for parts or give them away to charities or non-profits. If your microwave isn’t in usable condition, they’ll have the proper resources to dispose of it safely. Some electronics recycling centers may even offer pick ups to make it extra convenient for you.

Other options include stores like Best Buy or home improvement stores, some of which offer a recycling program of their own for electronic appliances including microwaves.


As we’ve explained here, there are plenty of options for disposing of old microwaves, whether yours is broken or you’re simply upgrading your appliances. After reading this article, we hope you understand how to dispose of a microwave. Local appliance recycling programs are typically your best bet, or check with the company you bought your microwave from. Regardless of which option you decide to take for your old microwave, realize that there are plenty of recycling services available to you, so straight-up disposal is rarely necessary. By getting rid of your old microwave oven in a safe and responsible way, you’ll help make your community a better place.