Did you know that e-waste, which includes gadgets and yes, our trusty old coffee maker, comprise about 2% of the trash in our landfill but contributes about 70% of the toxic waste?
When your coffee maker breaks down on you, or when you decide, after careful research, to buy a new coffee maker, you can’t just throw away the old one. Actually, there are state laws against that.
But even if your state has no law banning the dumping of e-waste as coffee lovers, we have a responsibility to the environment. What we do impacts the ecosystems around us—including those places where our beloved coffee beans are harvested.
Read on to learn about how to dispose of a coffee maker without being a jerk to the environment.
Eight (8) ways to dispose of your old coffee maker
1. Donate to someone you know (or don’t know)
If your coffee maker is still in working condition, why not give it away to a friend, a relative, a neighbor, or someone you know?
Coffee makers that still work need not head to the landfill or recycling center right away. It would be a waste to throw away a perfectly working device.
To help you find any takers, you can post on social media about it. You might be surprised at how many people are interested in getting a free albeit used coffee maker.
2. Goodwill Stores
Goodwill stores are thrift shops where you can buy cheap clothes and shoes. The profit goes to fund programs that help people find jobs.
But did you know that Goodwill stores also accept non-working small appliances as donations? And yes, “small appliances” include coffee makers.
The only catch is that not all Goodwill thrift stores do this. You have to call the nearest Goodwill store to check if they indeed accept coffee makers as donations.
The reason for this is that regional Goodwill thrift stores operate independently of each other. Each region may have an entirely different policy altogether. It would be best to ask before trooping to one.
Staples offers free recycling for a wide range of e-waste. You don’t need to purchase anything to avail of this service. They also accept all brands of electronic items. You also need not have bought your device from them.
Notably, they don’t accept “kitchen electronics” except for coffee brewers weighing less than forty (40) pounds. This includes old coffee makers. But remember that your coffee maker should weigh less than forty (40) pounds.
Do take note that they can only accept seven (7) recyclable items per day per customer. I don’t think you’d go over this limit (unless you own like maybe 100 coffee makers or so lol).
Most Staples stores accept recyclable items, except for smaller-format stores in New York City and Washington D.C.
4. Best Buy
Aside from Staples, you can also bring your old appliances to Best Buy for recycling for free. All US stores accept e-waste for recycling.
Best Buy brings discarded gadgets and appliances to their recycling partners, who then assess if the products can still be repaired, repurposed, or recycled.
5. Home Depot
Like Best Buy and Staples, Home Depot also has its own recycling program.
However, the products they accept varies by State or store. Some stores don’t accept small appliances. Unfortunately, this includes coffee makers.
It would be best to call the Home Depot store near you.
6. Return the coffee maker to the store where you bought it
Customers may be able to return the products for recycling to the store where they bought them. Give the store a call or shoot them an email to find out.
7. Return the coffee maker to the manufacturer
Some coffee maker manufacturers accept their coffee makers for recycling from customers. Hamilton Beach and Nespresso have this program. It may be best to inquire through a call or email if your coffee maker manufacturer has the same policy.
8. Dispose of in designated e-waste drop-off points
Some states and cities do have designated drop-off points for e-wastes. You can drop off your old coffee maker here.
Look online if you have one near you. If you still don’t have one, you may consider proposing it to the government.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is e-waste?
E-wastes are home or business electronic products that are about to reach or have reached the end of their useful life. They comprise about 2% of the waste in America’s landfills. However, despite this, they produce around 70% of the toxic substance that pollute our environment.
This is because they usually contain heavy metals and plastics, which poses risks to our health and the environment when not handled properly.
Examples of e-waste include gadgets (such as computers, cellphones, TVs, etc.) and appliances (such as a coffee maker).
2. Is coffee maker an e-waste?
Yes, a coffee maker is considered an e-waste. It is made up of metals (for its electronic parts) and plastics, which can be harmful to the environment. As such, they must be properly disposed of.
3. Can I just dump my old coffee maker in the garbage bin?
No, this is actually illegal in several states.
The District of Columbia and 28 states have e-recycling laws that prohibit the dumping of e-waste, such as a coffee maker. Proper recycling and disposal protocols must be observed to comply with these laws.
But if you have designated e-waste recycling drop-off points in your locality, then you may dump your old coffee maker there.
4. How do I dispose of my old coffee maker?
You can either give them away to friends or family, donate them to charity (such as Goodwill thrift stores), give them to stores (such as Best Buy, Home Depot, and Staples), return them to the manufacturer or the store where you bought them.
You may also dump them in designated e-waste recycling drop-off points, if available in your state or city.
Everything has an end, even for our trusty coffee makers. When this happens, be sure to dispose of your coffee maker properly. Take care of the environment for it is where our coffee comes from.
But if you’re searching for those that are more on the high-end, we also have recommendations for commercial coffee makers that are suitable for home use.