Small appliances, like blenders and toasters, are built to last a long time. But eventually, you’re probably going to need to upgrade. Most small appliances are mainly composed of metal, like steel. So, they have useful materials that are pretty easy to recycle — and shouldn’t end up in the landfill.
Small Appliances Recycling Preparation
- Unplug your appliance for several days before recycling to let it cool down.
- For microwaves or other heavier appliances (for example, breadmakers), tie up the power cord using either a twist tie or the cord itself (or tape it to the unit). The last thing you want is to trip while carrying an item that may weigh 25 to 50 pounds.
- If the item is still in working condition, consider donating it to a thrift store. While it’s not required that you clean appliances before donation, it’s certainly appreciated.
- If your appliance has removable parts not made of metal (such as the tempered glass or plastic blender jar), there probably isn’t a recycling market for those. You can remove these parts prior to recycling.
Why Recycle Small Appliances
- About 75 percent of the weight of the average appliance comes from steel (the most recycled material in the U.S.). Home appliances account for 10 percent of steel recycled in the U.S. each year.
- Microwaves have computer chips in them that contain valuable metals like gold. And the wire in electronics’ power cords is made of coated copper — another valuable material.
Frequent Small Electronics Recycling Questions
- Know When It’s Time to Replace Old Appliances: Helpful tips for knowing at what age you should buy new appliances
- Nuke Your Microwave: How (and Why) to Live Without It: While microwaves may be convenient, there are plenty of reasons to use other appliances when cooking
- Survey: Americans Miss Out on Savings from Energy Hacks: Keeping unused appliances plugged in all the time is costing you money; find out how much
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