How To Dispose Of A Microwave

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A big metal box that radiates food, sounds scary! Well, all the different rules for how to dispose of one can be pretty scary as well. Have no fear though, here is everything you need to know.

Electronic waste has a tendency to need special requirements as it can often be classified as hazardous waste, and many of your unwanted household appliances can’t be thrown in a normal skip or landfill. So what do you do with your old microwave?


Well, there are a few must-known facts when it comes to binning your household microwave. In this piece, we will explore the does and don’ts of discarding your old microwaves. From finding your local e-waste recycler to dealing with pickups, by the end of this piece, C & R Lewis Skip Hire advise you exactly how to dispose of a microwave.

Is it safe to dispose of my microwave oven?

The short answer is yes, it is safe to dispose of your microwave, but only if you do it properly.


E-waste requires special treatment to be recycled, destroyed, or reused. Understanding what you can do to properly dispose of your unwanted items is vital information.


Essentially, it is not safe to dispose of your microwave as you would dispose of your general household waste. However, if you use local centres and specialists, then you can very easily dispose of your microwave in a safe and easy manner. 


A simple google search can reveal lots of options that are available to you. In this piece, we will look a bit closer at some of those options.

How To Dispose Of A Broken Microwave​

Since a lot of the traditional waste removal strategies such as skips, tips, and landfills don’t allow electrical appliances and e-waste such as microwaves, then finding the correct method for these bulky items can be tricky.


Here are some options for a broken microwave.


Electronics can often be returned to electronic stores where they offer recycling options, local councils often have e-waste recyclers, and an abundance of local pickup companies will accept microwaves as well.


Each of these options will help you remove a microwave safely. Contact them for further information.

Frequently Asked Qusetions When disposing of a microwave

Since appliances such as microwaves are a no-go for a local landfill, local governments and waste services offer a variety of methods for disposal, and one of those is recycling. This is a great method for helping the environment. So always think about the best way to dispose of your microwave, and if recycling is an option, it’s easily the safest way to deal with your appliance.

A lot of local councils will have recycling programmes for dealing with your average microwave. You can drop your appliances off at the designated centres. Most cities will also offer collection for electronics, check online with them first as this may charge a small price. This is the best way to avoid any problems as your appliance will be dealt with by professionals.

So have a quick google at what options your local government has in terms of recycling programs for further information on how to get your microwave recycled.

As we mentioned, your microwave can be recycled at the correct recycling centres; however, you cannot go into your household recycling bin. To dispose of a microwave you want to avoid normal waste options.

It is always best to contact a specialist to find a drop off programme or pickup service that can properly dispose of a microwave, as they will have the proper tools to recycle e-waste equipment.

Sadly, electronic equipment such as microwaves cannot go into a skip.

The waste that goes into skips is predominantly intended for landfills, and electronic appliances are not allowed into landfills and they do not break down as easily as general waste. Avoid discarding microwaves into your skip and contact the appropriate service instead.

If you are looking for a skip hire to dispose of unwanted waste, C & R Lewis are experts in waste management and service skip hire in Coventry, Solihull and skip hire in Kenilworth.

If you are wondering how to dispose of a large kitchen appliance and what the best methods might be methods, please check out our guide on how to dispose of a fridge.

If you are struggling to find a recycling centre, then you should be able to find a local scrap collection service. These will often offer pickup services for appliances such as microwaves and other unwanted appliances. This is a great alternative as they will often deal with troublesome electronic waste for you.

They will often collect this for a small fee or for free, as they will use it for scrap metal.

Other Options for an Old Microwave oven?

Before discarding your old microwave, first, ask yourself, does it still work? If the answer is yes, then you could avoid waste companies entirely. The internet has lots of opportunities to get rid of unwanted household appliances that could even earn you a little bit of cash on the side.

Does your old microwave still work? Maybe you just don’t like the way it looks anymore? Well, people always want essentials like microwaves for cheaper prices, which makes it a great opportunity to get rid of any unwanted electronics.

With local marketplaces such as Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree, you can find buyers willing to collect and pay for your unwanted items. Then you can even use the money towards a new appliance. It’s a great option for a working microwave that avoids you having to find your nearest drop off location for recycling or disposal.

If your microwave is struggling to sell, or you don’t want to deal with the process of selling it, then you still have options for disposing of your e-waste. Your best bet is to head over to your local charity shop, as they are always accepting donations.

Most stores accept small appliances as long as they work. This is a great alternative as you can quickly dispose of your unwanted microwaves on the same day. As long as you can get to your local charity shop, then you can get rid of your old microwave.

Many of the online marketplaces are also a good option for giving things away. If you can’t take your microwave anywhere, then offering it for free online, as long as the person collects it themselves, is a simple alternative for a working microwave.

What if you don’t actually want a new microwave, but your current one no longer works? The good news, you can often find local specialists willing to repair old microwaves for a small fee. They will have the required skills and replacement parts needed to fix it. So, before you simply throw away your favourite microwave, check if it can be fixed first.

However, sometimes it can be safer to buy a new microwave. A repair specialist can guide you with the right information and options available to you so that you avoid any dangers.

Should You Replace or Repair a Broken Microwave?

Microwaves, along with lots of other types of e-waste, always have the option to be repaired before you contemplate proper disposal. With microwaves, however, knowing when it’s time to replace one, rather than repair it, can be pretty important to know. 


Microwaves use electromagnetic radiation to heat food, which is why they demand so many special rules for disposal. Eventually, it is safer to replace your old microwave than repair it.


Over time, microwaves begin to show signs of needing to be replaced. Your manufacturer should have advice on how long your model will last before it needs replacing. Different stores may advise differently as well, so always check.

Frequently Asked Questions

The average length for how long a microwave lasts is 7 years. With poor maintenance and heavy use, however, that can become even shorter. Anything over 10 years is probably unsafe. There are a few signs to watch out for when using your microwave that might indicate it’s time to replace it.


Things to watch out for:


  1. Smoke or burning smells
  2. It no longer cooks food as well
  3. The door does not seal/shut properly
  4. It makes irregular sounds when operating

If you begin to notice any of these signs when using your microwave, it could be a good time to replace it. You can always contact your manufacturer to check for further information on your model of microwave.

This is the big scary question and one that needs to be taken seriously. Since microwaves do use radiation, the thought of it leaking is worrying. Since radiation is invisible, knowing if it is an issue can be hard, so following any guidelines from your manufacturer is always advised.


The basic answer is yes, microwaves leak radiation if they are old or badly maintained. If the metal housing breaks down over time, small amounts of radiation can leak from the machine. This is why it is always important to be aware of any guidelines by the supplier, such as how long the machine should last, and how it should run normally. If you see any signs of irregular performance or physical damage to the appliance, then contact your supplier immediately for assistance.


For the most part, the radiation used in microwaves is not very dangerous in small amounts. However, it is always best to be safe and cautious when dealing with appliances such as microwaves.


Again, this is another reason why it can often be safer to replace an old microwave instead of repairing it.

With the internet offering an abundance of tutorials at our fingertips, it can often feel as though most issues can be solved by yourself. However, a microwave is full of components that are best left to professionals. While you may technically be safe taking apart a microwave, you may do more harm than good to the appliance itself.


If you damage the high voltage capacitor or any of the other fundamental components, then your machine will stop working altogether. It is always best to seek out the help of professionals when dealing with microwaves. Your appliance manufacturers are always a good contact to discuss any issues you may have with your machine.

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