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#1
Old 07-24-2001, 11:49 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 3,758
I have an old (non-working) microwave oven I want to get rid of. Is it safe to just throw it away in the dumpster? I thought I read once that there's a plate inside that has to be disposed of a certain way - as with car batteries. One of my co-workers suggested that cutting the plug would be sufficient.

I'd call City Hall, but I'm sure I'd get some clerk with no clue what I was talking about.
#2
Old 07-25-2001, 12:08 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 21,956
If there is ANY way to get it working again, I'd recommend a few experiments. Namely, I would like you to make lightning.
#3
Old 07-25-2001, 12:11 AM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: IL, USA
Posts: 5,209
- - - Microwave ovens are safe to throw in regular trash. The active part is a vacuum tube. You can cut the plug if it makes you feel better, but anyone halfway detirmined can fix the cord. -Toying with microwave oven innards is a Dumb Thing, normally minimized by Darwin's theory of evolution.
- What the person might have been thinking of instead was smoke detectors, most of which use a tiny bit of mildly radioactive material that technically isn't supposed to end up in the regular landfill. - MC
#4
Old 07-25-2001, 08:23 AM
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Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 18,366
Quote:
most of which use a tiny bit of mildly radioactive material that technically isn't supposed to end up in the regular landfill
I believe smoke dectectors for residenial use are exempt from the hazzardous waste catagory and can be landfilled with coffee grinds.
#5
Old 07-25-2001, 01:13 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Pratts, Mississippi
Posts: 6,246
You can throw away a microwave if:
  • You set it on "defrost'
  • door is shut
#6
Old 07-25-2001, 10:41 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Indiana
Posts: 316
Quote:
Originally posted by k2dave
Quote:
most of which use a tiny bit of mildly radioactive material that technically isn't supposed to end up in the regular landfill
I believe smoke dectectors for residenial use are exempt from the hazzardous waste catagory and can be landfilled with coffee grinds.
This is true -- smoke detectors can be legally landfilled, along with pretty much everything else that comes from a household. That doesn't necessarily mean that's the best place for it. Smoke detectors should be sent (by surface shipping, not air) back to the manufacturer for disposal. You should be able to find the manufacturer's information on the back cover.

Yes, in case you were wondering, household hazardous waste IS my life.
#7
Old 07-25-2001, 11:28 PM
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Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: RedondObama Beach, CA
Posts: 9,801
Why not consider donating it to a charity? The Goodwill in my neighborhood accepted an old, non-working microwave from me.

You might also want to find out if it's actually legal to dispose of a microwave in a landfill in your state. From http://sdearthtimes.com/et0595/et0595s2.html
Quote:
On January 1, 1994, a California law became effective banning disposal of major home appliances in landfills.
Or how about taking it to a recycling center?
Quote:
Non-working appliances are collected at recycling centers and brought to scrap recycling facilities. After CFCs and other components have been removed by a trained technician, the appliance is either baled or shredded. Metals such as copper are separated manually before the shredding process. After shredding, the steel is magnetically separated and shipped to mills where it can be made into new products. The remaining material (called "fluff") can be put in a landfill or burned in a resources recovery plant.

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