How to dispose of a broken microwave

Written by ryn gargulinski
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How to dispose of a broken microwave
Don't put it here. (Photo by Ryn Gargulinski)

In this world full of too many landfills, poisonous substances and junk, there are recycling laws regarding just about everything. This includes your microwave. Unless you live in some strange place on Earth (or on another planet), you are no longer allowed to simply chuck your microwave in the trash. You can dispose of a broken microwave properly and help save the environment with a few resources and by following some simple steps.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Cut off the cord. Take a pair of snips and cut the cord as close to the base of the microwave as possible. Even if the microwave is broken, make sure it's unplugged when you do this. Place the cord inside the microwave.

  2. 2

    Check out your local laws. Because of their electronic components, microwaves are usually considered hazardous household waste in most areas. Check with your city of county government for specifics. Find the listings in the blue pages of the phone book or see the Resources section.

  3. 3

    Go national. If you are having no luck finding somewhere to dispose of your microwave at the local level, find a recycling location through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This agency is listed in the blue pages of the phone book, or see Resources.

  4. 4

    Get creative. Instead of getting rid of the microwave, use it for another purpose. Glorious art can be made from any debris. You can open up the microwave and use the small innards in your next collage or mosaic. Leave the microwave intact and cover it with a small tablecloth to make an end table. Paint it and take off the door to store books. Leave the door on for an instant, airtight storage chamber.

Tips and warnings

  • Cutting off the cord of the microwave helps ensure that a child will not be accidentally electrocuted if he finds it and wants to use it as a toy.
  • Clean your microwave thoroughly before using it as art or a bookcase.

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