Where to Get Rid of Old Appliances and Electronics for Free


The other day, I installed a new “over-the-range” microwave in our rental home after the old one went kaput. Needless to say, installing one of these bad boys isn’t as easy as some of those YouTube videos make it out to be! I was grateful to have the help of a good friend who helped me keep the internal (and sometimes, external) cussing to a minimum. 

After the project was complete – I had a large appliance left over with no place to go. Many states in the U.S. now prohibit throwing away your old appliances, electronics and other hazardous waste in with your garbage because they have components that are harmful to human health and the environment.

So, in many cases, folks are left disposing of these items on their own time and dime. Since I had this hunk-o-junk leftover in the back seat of my car – I needed to find a place to dispose of it. After doing some preliminary searches, I wasn’t real happy with the results. So, I thought, “this may make a good post and help other fellow junk haulers out!

I already knew of our county’s recycling / drop-off buildings that take in old microwaves and other household goods. But I also knew it wasn’t free. For a microwave and other “smaller” appliances like it – our county charges $15 per item. “Isn’t this why I pay taxes?

After doing some digging, I came up with a little list that may aid you in offloading your junk. And, please let me know if you know of any other places that I may have missed here. Each state / region is different in how they handle old appliances, electronics and other icky stuff – so would love to get a list going in the comment section to help others out. Please mention your state in case you aren’t from Minnesota.


One way to get rid of your stuff is by placing an ad in Craigslist and then listing the items you want to have picked up. In the title or somewhere near the top of your body copy, you’ll want to add the words “Attention Scappers“. This will alert men/women who make a living off picking up appliances and other large items that are made of metal, who turn around and flip them for profit. I’ve had success with this tactic – so I know it works (and its free). The downside here is that you may need to be around when they come for the item and/or someone may or may not show.


Here in Minnesota, one of the main utility companies actually pays you for disposing of your almost dead fridge or freezer. So if you have an energy-sucking appliance (that’s still functional) – and wish to upgrade to a newer, more efficient one – you can get a $35 rebate. Plus, they’ll pick it up for you, free of charge. Although this program is only for working appliances, it may pay (literally) to check with your utility provider before offloading an appliance.


Like with old ink cartridges, some appliance manufacturers will pay for you to ship the product back to their headquarters for recycling. Best thing to do is to go online to see if the manufacturer will help you dispose of the old appliance and where you need to go to drop-off or where you can send it (preferably only if they are paying for the shipping).

Retail stores

After doing some initial searches online for where I could get rid of my microwave, I found a couple of places that welcomed old appliances. One in particular was a place I had bought many of our other appliances. Many of their stores offered free drop-off of old appliances. Some other retailers who are known to recycle appliances are ApplianceSmart, Best Buy, Sears and Home Depot. I’d recommend starting with your local appliance store first to see what they recommend for proper disposal without incurring fees.

Here’s a list provided by the EPA under a program they have called RAD (Responsible Appliance Disposal) of places that may take your old and worn out appliances


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  1. KAY says:

    I’m in CA and have had good luck with freecycle.org. Like Craigslist people pick up, but you have to be signed up in the online groups. You can post first come, first served or pick who you want to get it.

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