Small appliances, such as toasters and microwaves, get lots of use every day. However, they are not made to last forever. Whether the appliance no longer works or a piece on it gets broken, your first instinct may be to throw it in the garbage bin. This is not the proper way to dispose of small appliances you no longer want, though, because some of the materials from which they are made could negatively affect the environment by sitting in a landfill. Finding a new purpose for the appliance might seem like a hassle, but it's not as difficult as it might appear.
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Donate or Sell Your Small Appliances
Your small appliance may still be functional even though a part of it is broken. If your coffee maker still brews coffee but the carafe is broken, you can donate it to a thrift store or sell it online or at a garage sale. Sometimes, items you may consider to be past their prime could be useful to someone else.
If you don't want the headache of selling online, stores such as the Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity ReStore may accept your items and take over the task of selling them to someone else. Keep in mind that these organizations will not accept the items if they are no longer functional.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
A number of companies accept small appliances that contain valuable metals and other scrap materials that can be melted down and reused in the manufacture of new items. For example, Cohen, which operates several recycling centers in Kentucky and Ohio, will accept any small or large appliances that are made of metal. You may also want to reach out to the store where you purchased the item to find out if they offer a free recycling program.
Small appliances need to be brought to specific recycling locations in your area where they are accepted. Depending on where you live, these recycling centers may test the items to see if they can be repaired or refurbished to be sold again. These types of locations can be found by contacting your local city hall. Some towns or cities may offer a collection site for drop-offs or a roadside collection day when small appliances are picked up and brought to the recycling center for you. Be aware that these regulations may vary in different cities or counties, so it is important to inform yourself first.
Book a Commercial Junk Hauler
If your microwave or other appliance is too cumbersome for you to schlep around while you are trying to find a recycling center, then another option is to have a commercial junk collector come to your home to remove it for you. The downside is that there will likely be a fee for the pickup. The upside is that the problem is resolved with little effort on your part. You may want to do some research on the company prior to booking to make sure it will dispose of the item properly and not just throw it in a landfill.
Prep Your Appliances for Recycling
Follow a few simple steps to get your small appliances ready for recycling:
- Unplug the appliance for a few days prior to recycling.
- Clean up the appliance if it's covered with grime or food.
- Tie or tape up power cords to prevent tripping accidents.
- Call your recycling provider to find out if they can recycle nonmetal parts of your small appliance, such as the glass coffee carafe that came with your coffee maker.