How To Scrap A Microwave

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Microwave ovens are a piece of technology that everyone has bought, eventual disposes of, and is lucky to scrap! They are relatively dense home appliance full of copper, which makes them a great scrapping item in every meaning of the phrase.

When you scrap a microwave, you should first realize how easy it is to open them up. It usually takes a few screws and you have access to the meat and potatoes of the mechanism, shown below. (The button and clock side of the microwave is the side with all guts, and you will notice that side of the appliance is heavier)

A microwave consists of a Magnetron, transformers, heavy duty wire, a large capacitor and a small motor to rotate its food tray. The two latter items may not be worth the effort of sorting, and I find they are better left inside and sold as mixed metal. (If you are so inclined, you can try to drain the capacitor to sell it as aluminum, but it may not even be half a pound worth. I find i’m better off getting payed for the fluid!)
The magnetron (Click link for more info) is the copper-rich component responsible for generating the microwave energy from electricity.  It can be sold at motor price along with the transformer. If you know that it is in working order, you may want to try your luck selling it on Ebay. Depending on the brand, it may fetch a pretty penny, as microwaves do need repaire. 
The transformer can either have the copper wire cut and pulled out of it, or can be sold at motor price. The key there is to budget and optimize your time
Contrary to what a few people might think, there are NO precious metals in a microwave… unless of course you count copper as well.
When scrapping out a microwave, always consider selling reusable parts. Things like panels, and especially the rotating glass tray, are able to fetch upwards of $20 on eBay, so long as you title everything as specifically and with as much description as possible.  For more info on selling scrap on eBay, check out Selling Scrap Metal on eBay

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