Are Toasters Recyclable? (And Are They E-waste?)

We all love to eat toast. It is delicious and also relatively easy to make; it is the perfect breakfast. It certainly stays in your stomach longer than any cereal would, and it also happens to be healthier too!

Toasters are essential home appliances. They make it easier to make toast in the morning or even anytime. However, just like every other appliance, they are also susceptible to wear and tear. The average lifespan of a toaster is 6 to 8 years, but if you get lucky, it may be longer.

But you cannot get lucky forever; the time will eventually come for you to dispose of your old toaster. In this blog post, we will show you several ways to dispose of it in an environmentally sensitive manner.

Can You Recycle Toasters?

Toasters are a bit large and will undoubtedly look conspicuous in the trash can if you put them there. Aside from that, they are non-biodegradable and will only end up in landfills for years. So now, what other option is there in terms of disposing of them?

Well, they can and should be recycled when they spoil beyond repair. Toasters can be plugged into a socket, and as such, qualify as e-waste. It is best to dispose of e-waste properly, as the failure to do so can endanger you and the environment.

Now, how do we dispose of e-waste? Most recycling centers do not specialize in recycling e-waste because it requires a special process. But a few of them make provisions for you to bring your e-waste like toasters, gather them and send them off to companies that specialize in recycling them. You will, however, have to find out if yours offers that service.

If your recycling center does not make provisions to gather e-waste, then you will have to resort to other means of recycling them. You can log onto your computer and find the closest company that recycles e-waste. Most of them offer pick-up services for a small fee, and you may instead choose to drive down to drop it off yourself.

You can also choose to take it down to the hardware store. Some of them accept old toasters, accumulate them and send them to companies that recycle them. Of course, not all of them offer this service, so you will have to ask when next you are at the hardware store.

Another available option is that some manufacturers allow you to send your old toaster back to them for recycling. Some even offer you new toasters at lower prices if you can bring in your old ones.

While preparing to recycle your old toaster, you will have to carry out a few processes. First, unplug it many days before you take it to the recycling center. It gives it enough time to cool down, so it won’t cause any damage to the recycling machine.

Next, ensure you clean it out properly. Cleaning does not affect recycling, but it is undoubtedly more presentable to take a clean toaster to the recycling center or company. You may also wrap the cord around it to make it easy to move it around. 

Summarily, you can recycle your toaster, and you should! However, if you leave it lying around, it will cause a level of damage to the environment. It will also take a long time to break down eventually, and even when it does, it leaves behind some residues.

Can You Throw Away Toasters in The Trash?

Apart from the fact that your toaster will be easy to spot in the trash can, it would be best if you did not put it there because it will end up in a landfill. Unlike people who work at recycling centers, garbage handlers do not have to sort through the trash included in their duty. Simply put, if you throw your toaster in the dustbin, no one will sort through it, and it will just end up in the landfills.

Well, our landfills are already filled up as it is, and we have to dedicate even more land to dispose of our waste. If you add a toaster to it, you can be assured that it will take a very long time for the said toaster to disintegrate. We can make things better by recycling materials that do not decompose if the option is available.

We cannot recycle some materials, and as such, they have to go to landfills. However, toasters are not one of such materials. They are recyclable and should be recycled too.

You may also be putting yourself in the danger of a fire if you leave your toaster in the trash can. Toasters are combustible, meaning they can easily catch on fire. Now, the chances of a fire starting in the trash can are low; however, it is possible.

To save yourself from any potential fire, you may want to ensure that you dispose of the toaster properly. You may also want to apply this to all your other useless electrical appliances.

Are Toasters E-waste?

Spoiler alert! Toasters qualify as e-waste. Typically, any material or appliance that can be connected to a socket or needs electricity to function is e-waste.

Now, if you dispose of e-waste carelessly, you may be wreaking devastating consequences on the environment. This is because E-waste contains heavy and dangerous metals like lead, cadmium, chromium, nickel, copper, etc. Most of these metals release harmful toxins when you leave them lying around the environment.

Of course, they are not harmful when they are in use in your house. However, leaving them to harsh weather conditions and other factors of disintegration will expose you and the environment to toxic gases. That sure explains why there are numerous regulations in place to dispose of e-waste materials like toasters properly.

For instance, in some counties, e-waste like a microwave attaches fines when you dispose of it wrongly. You will be penalized because you are not only putting yourself in danger, you are also exposing the environment and others to it.

The bin, or your backyard, is the worst place you can put them.

Can You Put a Toaster in the Recycling Bin?

Now that we have established that you cannot put a toaster in the trash can, you may be wondering where you can put it instead. Can you put it in the recycle bin? Well, the short answer is that you cannot.

Toasters, just like every other e-waste, require a special recycling process. As a result, the average recycling center cannot take it on. Most of the time, only recycling companies and manufacturers are responsible for recycling e-waste.

You cannot put a toaster in the recycling bin for your locality unless it specializes in recycling e-waste. Of course, the only way to find out is to ask them if they accept it. If they do not, then you will have to resort to other ways to recycle it.

If you happen to go ahead to put your old toaster in the recycle bin, the workers at the recycling center will sort through the materials there and isolate the toaster. They may then add it to the e-waste pile if they have any. Next, they will send the materials in it to recycling companies that deal particularly with e-waste.

However, it would be best if you did not put your toaster in the recycling bin. What if your recycling center does not make provisions to deliver e-waste to companies specializing in recycling them? Then, you will only be creating some problems for the workers there.

As much as possible, try to find a company that recycled e-waste. They are easier to find than you think, and a few of them may offer to pick up your old toaster.

What Can You Do With the Old Toaster?

More often than not, recycling should be the last resort because it means that you are ready to give up your toaster. However, it may prove useful for other things, and we will inform you of some of those things shortly.

1. Makeshift Flower Pot

Your old toaster will sure make a great flower pot if you enjoy gardening. First, you can fill it with loamy soil and plant your favorite flowers in it. Then, to make things a bit zestier, you can paint the old toaster an attractive shade.

When you are done, you can then place the new toaster slash flower pot where it will receive sufficient sunlight.

2. Sponge Holder

A toaster’s job in the kitchen never ends. Did you know that you can place your sponges in your old toaster? Well, now you do!

Your old toaster can serve as a sponge holder. Simply reach in and grab a sponge when the need arises. 

3. Kitchen Utensil Holder

If you didn’t know that your old toaster would be perfect for holding your cooking spoons and knives, well, now you do. The two slots where the bread comes out from will hold these utensils perfectly.

All you have to do is place the handles in them, and you will have a tight fit. However, for the knives, you will have to put the sharp edges in the slots. It will undoubtedly go a long way in preventing kitchen accidents.

You can also dedicate the toaster entirely to holding your kitchen knives. Again, it will present an aesthetically pleasing view.

4. Donate It

If you have decided to let go of your old toaster because you want a newer model, you can donate the old one. However, it may also be that the old one has spoilt; you may want to look into repairing it and giving it out instead of giving it up as e-waste.

Before you donate it, however, you will need to clean it properly before you give it out because it makes it more presentable.

You may be wondering about who will want to take on a used toaster. Well, there are many people you can donate it to. For instance, you can ask your family members and friends if they are interested in it. You can also give it to anyone you know who is going off to college.

Charities and homeless shelters will also appreciate it. Although, not all of them will accept it for some reason.


Letting go of an old toaster you are already very familiar with maybe a bit difficult, but it sure gives room for change. It helps you free up space and finally gives you the chance to get that newer model you have been eyeing.

You may choose to recycle it by sending it to companies that accept e-waste. But before you resort to this, we suggest that you try repurposing it first. If it is bad, you may also choose to get it fixed and see if it will still be useful before finally giving it up for recycling.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.