If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you know the importance of a coffee maker that gets the job done right. It has become a vital part of the kitchen for millions of people. You don’t want weak coffee or burnt-tasting coffee, so you need a properly functioning coffee maker. Sometimes that means saying goodbye to our old coffee and espresso machines and welcoming in new ones.
However, it can be difficult to figure out what exactly to do with your most important of all kitchen appliances. Can you recycle it? Should you just throw it away? Well, hold on to your coffee maker (at least until you’re done reading this!), and we’ll tell you a few ways you can dispose of your coffee maker.
You Cannot Throw it Out (Most of the Time)
Let’s get this out of the way right now—you cannot simply throw away your non-working or old electrical appliances. Unfortunately, coffee makers are considered “e-waste,” also known as electronic waste, so you cannot throw it out in a regular garbage can.
Instead, you’ll have to find other ways to dispose of the broken coffee maker. A good rule of thumb when it comes to what you can put in your regular trash is if it’s got a circuit board or you can plug it in, it’s e-waste. If it’s e-waste, it needs to be disposed of alternatively.
You May Be Able to Recycle It (On Your Own)
As we’ll get into a bit later, some companies offer recycling programs where you can return the beyond repair coffee maker to make sure it’s recycled correctly. However, depending on the materials used to create your coffee maker, you may be able to simply throw it in your recycling can.
Before you throw it in the bin, you’ll need to call your waste management company’s recycling center and make sure their recycling facilities will accept it. Once you’ve done that, take an inventory of what your coffee maker is made of. If it’s mainly plastic, they’re probably not going to accept it.
Plastic is already a big environmental issue, but plastic coffee makers are often not recycled because the coffee maker plastic has stains created by black coffee. If the coffee maker is metal, it should be more easily recyclable and a good candidate for a proper recycling program.
As a last resort, think about interesting ways to repurpose your coffee machine. For example, take one of your old glass coffee pots and create a coffee pot terrarium! You’d be surprised what Pinterest can do with reusable items. So take some time and see what else you can dream up.
If Your Coffee Maker is Made of Metal
While you can recycle your metal coffee maker, you can’t just throw it in the bin at home. Instead, you’ll have to reach out to local places that need scrap metal. This could be a for-profit scrap yard or just services that pick up recyclable metal.
It’s important to dispose of metal coffee makers correctly because you could end up getting fined for putting them in the recycling bin, especially if your waste management company has an explicit policy against curbside recycling of electronic appliances or disposal of non-biodegradable items. Find a company that will pick your coffee maker up or will allow you to drop it off.
You Can Donate It
While we did mention it may be time to part with your coffee maker due to its age, that’s not always why you’re trying to get rid of a coffee maker. Sometimes a coffee maker still works well; it’s just time to get an upgrade for your at-home lattes and cappuccinos.
In that case, you may want to consider donating or even selling your coffee maker. If you paid good money for it and you know it’s still in fantastic condition, consider listing it on a local buy/ sell/ trade site and negotiating a proper price for the machine with your fellow coffee lovers.
If your coffee maker has seen better days but is still usable, consider donating it to a thrift store. You may get to write it off as a tax deduction at any of the Goodwill stores across the country, plus someone else will still get to use that coffee maker for a reasonable price set by the store.
Give it to a Thrift Store, But Not to Sell
If your coffee maker isn’t in working condition, some thrift stores will still accept it. However, instead of selling it, they’ll put it into their e-waste recycling services instead. The best way to do this is to call a couple of charity stores first and see if they have a program like that. Then you can drop off your once-beloved coffee maker to have it recycled.
You May Be Able to Return It
Now, before you get excited about “returning” your coffee maker for recycling, you need to know you’re not going to get a refund. But, see, if you bought your coffee maker from a local store, there’s a chance they’ll take back your appliances for recycling and get them into the proper program.
It’s mandatory in some states to have retail stores take back the coffee maker and subsequently recycle it. For more information about that, you’d have to do more local searches in your area and determine if your state mandates it or not.
This method can be great for people who enjoy purchasing items in-store, hence why they walked out with the coffee pot, but what about online shoppers? In this case, if you’re an online shopper, this method won’t do you much good. Instead, you’ll have to find an alternative method to dispose of your coffee maker.
You Can Contact the Manufacturer
Now, this method may be better for online shoppers. Sometimes the manufacturer of the coffee maker itself will accept the used coffee maker back for recycling. You’ll have to do a bit more research, but it’s not uncommon for a fraction of manufacturers to have recycling programs.
Finding a company’s local representative can allow you to drop off the broken or worn-out coffee maker without going too far from your house, but that’s not always an option. If you bought the coffee maker online, you might be able to ship it back to the manufacturer for their recycling program. Call the manufacturer in advance to make sure.
While it’s always great to recycle, sometimes it’s just not feasible. As long as it’s in line with your waste management company’s code and policy, you might be able to throw away your broken coffee machine. It’s not as environmentally friendly, but it gets the job done.
You’ll have to do a bit of research before disposing of your unwanted coffee maker, but in the end, it’ll be worth it to have either helped the environment or donated the coffee maker to a worthy cause.