How to Dispose of a Microwave Safely and Responsibly in the UK

Are you aware that improper disposal of microwaves can lead to serious environmental consequences? In a world where electronic waste is a growing concern, it’s essential to know how to dispose of a microwave oven safely and responsibly. This blog post will guide you through the various options available in the UK, from recycling centres and local council services to professional waste removal companies. We’ll also discuss how to repurpose, repair, and understand the legal and environmental aspects of how to dispose of a microwave. Get ready to become a responsible microwave owner!

Short Summary

  • Understand disposal options and fees, explore alternative methods such as recycling centres or local council services, and evaluate all available options.
  • Repurpose an old microwave by donating to charity, selling online or gifting it to friends/family.
  • Recycle responsibly in accordance with UK regulations for a cleaner future.

Understanding Microwave Disposal Options

When it comes to disposing of your microwave oven, it’s crucial to select the most appropriate option. In the UK, there are three main ways to dispose of a microwave safely and responsibly.

  1. Recycling centres: This is the recommended method, as it ensures that your old microwave is broken down and its materials are reused, reducing the environmental impact of electronic waste.
  2. Local council services: Many local councils offer collection services for bulky items like microwaves. Check with your local council to see if they provide this service.
  3. Professional waste removal companies: If you’re unable to access a recycling centre or local council service, you can hire a professional waste removal company to dispose of your microwave properly.

However, before choosing a disposal method, it’s important to consider the potential fees involved. Many local authorities charge a supplementary fee for electrical waste, so it’s essential to be aware of these costs when evaluating your options. Additionally, you may want to explore alternative methods of disposal, such as selling your old microwave online, donating it to charity, or gifting it to friends or family.

Recycling Centres in London

If you reside in London, you can locate recycling centres that accept microwaves by using the Recycle Your Electricals website’s recycling locator tool. Simply enter your postcode, and the tool will provide you with information about the nearest electrical recycling collection or drop-off point in your area. You can find recycling bins for electrical items in various places. Supermarkets, car parks and designated roadside areas are all potential locations.

Once your microwave is accepted at a local recycling centre, it will undergo a recycling process that involves:

  1. Breaking it down into smaller components using a hammer mill.
  2. Sorting the components into ferrous and non-ferrous materials.
  3. Sending the sorted materials to smelters for further processing.
  4. Recycling other materials found in your microwave oven separately, ensuring that every part of your appliance is responsibly dealt with.

Local Council Services in London

In addition to recycling centres, local councils in London offer disposal services for various items, including microwaves. These services are part of the council’s commitment to waste management and environmental preservation. To find out more about the microwave disposal services offered by your local council, you can contact them directly or visit their website.

By using local council services for your household waste, you’re not only ensuring that your microwave is disposed of safely and responsibly, but you’re also supporting your community and its waste management efforts. This helps to maintain a cleaner, greener environment for everyone to enjoy.

Professional Waste Removal Companies – We Clear Everything

Another option for microwave disposal in the UK is to enlist the services of a professional waste removal company, such as We Clear Everything. This company offers comprehensive waste removal services, including the safe and responsible disposal of microwaves.

By choosing a specialist company like We Clear Everything, you can ensure that your old microwave is handled efficiently and in compliance with UK regulations.

Repurposing Your Old Microwave Oven

If your old microwave is still in working condition, you might want to consider repurposing it instead of disposing of it. This not only reduces electronic waste, but also gives your microwave a new lease of life. Here are some ideas for repurposing your old microwave.

  • Use it for baking or cooking in your garage or workshop.
  • Turn it into a DIY project, such as a mini terrarium or a fish tank.
  • Donate it to a local charity or community center that could use a functional appliance.

By repurposing your old microwave, you can give it a new purpose and extend its lifespan, potentially saving you from purchasing new microwave ovens.

There are several ways to repurpose an old microwave, such as selling it online, donating it to charity, or gifting it to friends or family. By choosing one of these options, you’re not only extending the life of your appliance, but also helping others in need and contributing to a more sustainable future.

Selling Online

One effective way to repurpose your working microwave is to sell it on online platforms like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Gumtree. These websites typically attract local buyers, making it easier for you to sell your microwave locally and avoid the hassle of shipping due to its fragile nature.

Before listing your microwave for sale, ensure that it’s clean and in good working condition. Take clear photos of the appliance and provide an accurate description of its features and any potential issues. This will help potential buyers make an informed decision and increase the likelihood of a successful sale.

Donating to Charity

Another way to repurpose your old microwave is to donate it to a charity shop or organization, provided it’s in good working condition and meets their requirements. Donating a microwave to charity not only helps those in need, but also supports the charity’s mission and contributes to a greener environment.

Before donating your microwave, ensure that it complies with specific requirements, such as having certain labels and passing stringent safety tests. Some options for donating your microwave include:

  • The British Heart Foundation, which accepts donations of microwaves and other white goods
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Churches
  • Schools

Gifting to Friends or Family

Finally, you can consider gifting your old microwave to friends or family members who may need it. Before giving away your appliance, ensure that it’s thoroughly cleaned and safe for use.

This thoughtful gesture not only helps someone in need, but also promotes a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to appliance disposal.

Repairing a Broken Microwave

If your microwave is broken but repairable, it might be worth considering repairing it instead of disposing of it immediately. Repairing a microwave can be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly, especially if the damage is minor and the cost of repair is economical. To find a suitable repair specialist, you can search the internet for local repair specialists or contact the manufacturer of your microwave for a list of recommended repair specialists.

DO NOT attempt to repair a microwave oven on your own! Touching the transformer that is fitted inside the microwave can kill you instantly. Even if your microwave is dead and unplugged, it can still hold enough charge to stop your heart.

When to Repair vs. Replace

Deciding whether to repair or replace your microwave depends on several factors, including the age and condition of the appliance, the cost of the repair, and the cost of a new microwave. If the damage is minor and the cost of repair is relatively low, it may be more cost-effective to repair the appliance. On the other hand, if your microwave is old and the cost of repair is high, it might be more economical to replace it.

When considering the environmental impact, repairing your microwave can be a more eco-friendly option, as it reduces the amount of e-waste generated and helps conserve natural resources. However, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option before making a decision.

Finding Repair Specialists

Locating a certified repair specialist for your broken microwave is essential for ensuring a safe and successful repair. You can find repair specialists through online platforms like Go Assist, Airtasker, ABC Maintenance London, North London Appliance Repairs, AEG, and Regional Repair Centre. Alternatively, you can utilize manufacturer recommendations, such as AEG’s list of approved repair specialists.

By choosing a qualified repair specialist, you can be confident that your microwave will be repaired correctly and safely.

The Recycling Process for Microwaves in the UK

When it comes to recycling microwaves in the UK, the process involves:

  1. Taking the appliance to a local recycling centre or designated roadside area with electrical recycling bins.
  2. These bins can be found in certain supermarkets, car parks, and some roadside areas.
  3. By disposing of your microwave at a recycling centre, you’re ensuring that it’s broken down and its materials are reused, reducing the environmental impact of electronic waste.

During the recycling process, your microwave is broken down into smaller components and sorted into various materials, which are then sent for further processing. This responsible disposal method not only minimizes the amount of e-waste generated, but also helps preserve the environment for future generations.

Legal Aspects of Microwave Disposal in the UK

In the UK, the legal aspects of microwave disposal are governed by regulations on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Microwaves are classified as WEEE, and it’s essential to dispose of them appropriately to minimize their environmental impact. Proper disposal methods include taking the appliance to a local recycling centre or selling it online.

Non-compliance with WEEE regulations can result in monetary penalties. By adhering to these regulations and disposing of your microwave responsibly, you’re not only protecting the environment, but also avoiding potential legal ramifications.

Environmental Impact of Microwave Disposal

Microwave disposal has a significant environmental impact, as it contributes to the growing issue of electronic waste. E-waste can be hazardous and accumulate in the environment, leading to contamination of soil, air, water, and living organisms. Proper disposal of microwaves is essential to prevent such contamination and preserve the environment.

Recycling and repurposing old appliances, such as microwaves, play a crucial role in minimizing the amount of e-waste generated. By choosing to recycle, repair, or repurpose your old microwave, you’re not only reducing your carbon footprint, but also helping to create a more sustainable future. In fact, it is estimated that 195,000 tonnes of e-waste will originate from microwaves in the European Union in 2025.


In conclusion, disposing of a microwave safely and responsibly is essential to minimize its environmental impact and comply with UK regulations. By exploring various disposal options, such as recycling centres, local council services, and professional waste removal companies, you can make an informed decision that best suits your needs. Additionally, repurposing or repairing your old microwave can extend its lifespan and contribute to a more sustainable approach to appliance ownership. Let’s work together to create a cleaner, greener future for generations to come!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put microwave in general waste?

You cannot put microwaves in your general waste or domestic garbage bin. They fall into the category of electronic waste and should be taken to a recycling centre instead.

There are also other options such as repairing or donating.

How do I dispose of an old microwave near me?

Contact your council or local charities to see if they offer a collection service for your old microwave. Otherwise, find a drop-off or collection point for electricals by entering your postcode in the recycling locator. Or see if the retailer of your new microwave will take it back.

How can I find a recycling centre in London that accepts microwaves?

To find a recycling centre in London that accepts microwaves, use the Recycle Your Electricals website’s recycling locator tool or look for electrical recycling bins in supermarkets, car parks, and designated roadside areas.

These bins are usually clearly marked and are a great way to dispose of your old microwaves responsibly.

Can I sell my old microwave online?

Yes, you can sell your old microwave online through platforms like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, or Gumtree.

How can I donate my microwave to charity?

Ensure your microwave is in working condition before donating it to a charity shop or organization, such as the British Heart Foundation.