How Much is a Microwave Worth in Scrap Metal?

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Microwaves are a common household appliance that many people rely on for quick and convenient meals. However, like all appliances, they eventually end their lifespan and must be replaced. Many people wonder what to do with their old microwave when this happens. How Much is a Microwave Worth in Scrap Metal?

One possibility is to sell it as scrap metal, but how much is a microwave worth in scrap metal? This article addresses the question while offering valuable insights into the proper disposal methods for your old microwave.

Join us as we delve into the intricacies of this topic, ensuring you have the necessary information to handle this task responsibly and effectively.

This article informs you about the scrap metal value of microwaves. It guides you on how to dispose of them properly.

What is a Microwave?


A microwave is a convenient kitchen appliance that utilizes electromagnetic radiation to heat or cook food rapidly. It emits high-frequency radio waves. When food is placed in a microwave, the water molecules within the food start to vibrate.

This vibration generates heat, effectively cooking the food and ensuring its deliciousness.

Microwaves are famous for their convenience and speed; they can heat up or cook food in a fraction of the time on a stove or in an oven. Microwaves are frequently employed to reheat leftovers, prepare frozen meals, and even pop popcorn.

Explain how it works.

As mentioned earlier, microwaves work by emitting high-frequency radio waves, specifically in the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. Microwaves utilize magnetrons to generate waves, which are then directed into the cooking compartment.

Inside the cooking compartment is a rotating glass tray that helps distribute the radiation and cook the food evenly. Microwaves pass through food, causing water molecules to vibrate and generate heat.

This process is known as dielectric heating, allowing microwaves to cook or heat food quickly. The microwaves do not penetrate the food like X-rays, so they are considered safe for cooking.

Components of a Microwave

Microwave Components

Components of a microwave

  • Magnetron: This is the component that generates the high-frequency radio waves.
  • Waveguide: The waveguide directs the microwaves from the magnetron into the cooking compartment.
  • Cooking Compartment: You place your food to be cooked or heated.
  • Control Panel: Here, you can adjust settings such as time and power level for your microwave.
  • Turntable: This rotating glass tray helps to distribute the microwaves and cook food evenly.
  • Door and Latches: The microwave door is designed with metal mesh that allows the microwaves to pass through while keeping them in the cooking compartment. The latches on the door ensure that it stays securely closed during operation.
  • Safety Interlock: This safety feature prevents the microwave from operating if the door is closed incorrectly.

Materials used in component

  • Magnetron: Rare earth magnets, copper and other conductive metals are used to construct the magnetron.
  • Waveguide: Typically, stainless steel is used for waveguides because it is a good conductor of microwaves and is corrosion-resistant.
  • Cooking Compartment: Microwaves use non-conductive materials that do not absorb microwaves for the cooking compartment. Common materials used include glass, plastic and ceramic.
  • Control Panel: The control panel is usually made of a material that is resistant to heat and easy to clean, such as tempered glass or plastic.
  • Turntable: Most turntables are made of durable tempered glass, which can withstand high temperatures.
  • Door and Latches: The door is typically made of metal mesh. In contrast, the latches are usually made of plastic or metal.
  • Safety Interlock: This component is usually made of plastic or metal and functions as A switch that regulates the electrical current to the microwave, allowing control over the flow of electricity. It is designed to withstand high temperatures and prevent accidental activation if the door is closed incorrectly.
  • Transformer: Transformers in microwaves are typically made of iron cores and copper wires, which are good conductors of electricity.
  • High Voltage Capacitor: These capacitors are usually made of metal film, ceramic or plastic materials and can withstand high voltages produced by the transformer.
  • Diode: The diode in a microwave is typically crafted from semiconductor materials such as silicon or germanium. These materials possess the unique ability to facilitate the flow of electricity in a singular direction, ensuring efficient and controlled energy transmission.
  • Cooling Fan: The cooling fan is typically made of plastic and helps regulate the temperature inside the microwave by blowing hot air out of the unit.

With the continuous advancement of technology, microwaves benefit from developing and utilizing innovative materials. These advancements aim to enhance both efficiency and performance.

Some modern microwaves now use carbon fibre, a lightweight but strong material that helps reduce the appliance’s overall weight. Manufacturers are actively researching the utilization of sustainable and eco-friendly materials, like bamboo or recycled plastic, to enhance the environmental friendliness of their products.

Other components found in microwaves may also be made from different materials, depending on their function and purpose. For example, the display screen may be glass or a thin film transistor (TFT) display panel. In contrast, the control buttons may be silicone rubber for durability and easy cleaning.

Scrap Metal Value of a Microwave

recycling center

Regarding recycling electronic appliances, the scrap metal value is an essential factor to consider. This also applies to microwaves, which contain a variety of valuable metals that can be extracted and reused in other products.

The most common materials in microwaves with high scrap metal value include iron, copper, aluminium, and even precious metals like gold and silver.

Recycling a microwave not only helps to reduce electronic waste. One way to reduce the environmental impact is by decreasing the demand for new materials.

Recycling a single ton of steel can conserve 2,500 pounds of ore, 1,400 pounds of coal, and 120 pounds of limestone. Opting to recycle helps preserve valuable resources and reduces the need for raw materials. By doing so, we actively contribute to sustainability and environmental conservation.

Recycling a microwave conserves resources, reduces energy consumption, and cuts greenhouse gas emissions from mining and manufacturing.

Moreover, scrapping or recycling a microwave can bring in some extra cash. With the current market prices for scrap metal, a microwave may seem minor. Still, when combined with other electronic appliances, it can add up to a significant amount.

This can also incentivize individuals to properly dispose of their old microwaves instead of throwing them in the trash.

How to properly prepare a microwave for recycling

The value of a microwave in scrap metal can fluctuate based on factors like the prevailing market prices. The condition of the appliance and the type and amount of metals present.

For instance, older microwaves may have higher scrap metal value because their components are made with thicker or higher-quality metals.

To prepare a microwave for recycling, it is essential first to disconnect it from the power source and remove any remaining food or debris. Some scrap yards may require removing the glass turntable and any plastic parts before accepting the appliance.

Removing valuable or sensitive components, such as copper wiring or circuit boards, is also recommended for separate recycling. 

Once the appliance is fully prepared, You can take it to a scrap yard or recycling centre that accepts electronic appliances for proper disposal and recycling.

Researching and finding a reputable facility that follows appropriate environmental and safety regulations for handling e-waste is essential.

The impact of recycling on the environment

Aside from conserving natural resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, recycling also prevents hazardous materials from ending up in landfills.

Electronic appliances, such as microwaves, harbour dangerous substances like lead, mercury, and cadmium. Disposal of these toxins can lead to their seepage into the soil and water, presenting a significant environmental hazard if not handled correctly. Recycling these devices can prevent these harmful substances from polluting our environment.

Additionally, recycling also reduces the need for mining and extracting raw materials, which can damage the environment. Extracting metals and other materials used in electronic appliances often involves harmful chemicals.

It can contribute to deforestation, air pollution, and water contamination.

We positively impact our planet’s health and sustainability by recycling our old microwaves instead of throwing them away. Individuals and businesses must take responsibility for proper electronic waste disposal to protect our environment and preserve it for future generations.

Where to Sell Microwave for Scrap Metal

Where to Sell Microwave for Scrap Metal

Places where can sell a microwave for scrap metal

  • Scrap yards: These facilities buy and recycle scrap metal, including old microwaves.
  • Recycling centres: Many local recycling centres also accept electronic appliances for recycling, often offering monetary compensation.
  • Online marketplaces: Websites like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace allow individuals to sell their used microwaves to interested buyers looking for scrap metal.
  • Electronics stores: Some electronics retailers offer trade-in programs where customers can sell old appliances, including microwaves, for scrap or store credit.
  • Online scrap metal buyers: Some various websites and companies purchase scrap metal from individuals, making it convenient to sell your microwave without leaving home.
  • Local community events: Some communities organize e-waste collection events where residents can recycle their old electronics, including microwaves.
  • Curbside pickup: In some areas, you can leave your old microwave on the curb for pickup by designated scrap metal collectors.
  • Donation centres: If your microwave is still functional, you may want to consider donating it to a thrift store or a charitable organization instead of selling it for scrap metal. This way, you can contribute to a good cause while ensuring your item finds a new home. This way, you can positively impact and help those in need while removing your item.
  • Metal recycling programs: Some cities and municipalities have metal recycling programs where residents can drop off their old appliances, including microwaves, for proper disposal.
  • Repair shops: Depending on the condition of your microwave, you can sell it to a local repair shop specializing in refurbishing and reselling used appliances.

Final tips for recycling of your microwave:

  • Make sure to clean and prepare your microwave properly before recycling it.
  • Research different options in your area to find the most convenient and environmentally friendly option.
  • Consider donating your working microwave to a charity or thrift store instead of selling it for scrap metal.
  • Check with local repair shops to see if they are interested in refurbishing and reselling your microwave.
  • Keep an eye out for future developments in microwave recycling technology, as there may be more efficient and sustainable options shortly. Remember, every small action helps make a big difference for our planet’s future.

Thank you for taking the time to learn about responsible microwave recycling. Let’s work together towards a greener and cleaner future for all. Always remember that the ability to create a positive impact rests within our grasp.

So let’s use it wisely and choose to recycle whenever possible. Together, we can positively impact and protect our planet for future generations.


There are various options available for recycling your old microwave. From specialized recycling centres to online marketplaces, selling your microwave for scrap metal is not only environmentally responsible. Still, it can also earn you some extra cash.

To take action, consider researching the best option for your specific location and situation. Remember to properly prepare your microwave for recycling by removing any hazardous materials and packaging it securely.

By choosing to recycle your microwave, you reduce waste and contribute to the circular economy. So please don’t let your old microwave end up in a landfill; you can explore your options for responsible disposal today. Remember, every small action helps make a big difference for our planet’s future.

This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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