Did you know that we collectively produce 50 million tons of e-waste per year, (coffee machines included)? This is a dizzying number to wrap your mind around. Fortunately, many producers, distributors, and brands within the coffee industry are becoming more aware of this global waste crisis.
Consumers have been effective in pushing brands and distributors to adapt to this crisis and implement more sustainable practices in their businesses. The demand for eco-friendly and sustainable brands continues to grow, and this consumer influence is a great way for ordinary people to hold big businesses accountable for their impact on climate change.
However, there is still a lot that consumers can do to ensure they play their part in reducing waste. As individuals, we have a responsibility to stay informed on these issues and do our best to minimize our impact.
So ask yourself, do you know how to dispose of a coffee machine? What even is e-waste? Keep reading to find out how you can dispose of your old coffee machine, safely and responsibly.
What is e-waste, and how is it harmful?
Any electronic gadget contains a huge amount of heavy metals like lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, chromium, and dioxins, and that’s just the start. Most of the time, these metal parts end up in landfills.
Several of these metals can be damaging to human beings and the environment when they are not disposed of correctly. When traces of these metals end up in the human bloodstream, they can cause congenital disabilities, carcinogenesis, damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, and so on.
When metals like lead break down and enter streams, lakes, and rivers they corrupt our clean water sources. A famous and disastrous example of mass lead poisoning in water systems happened in Flint, Michigan when the city changed its water source to the local Flint river in 2014. This resulted in the mass poisoning of its citizens, causing many to develope irreversible brain damage. This issue has still not been resolved.
How can I get rid of my coffee maker?
Instead of just throwing your old coffee maker in the trash, here are some ways you can reuse your coffee maker.
Head to the repair shop
We all love a good, strong coffee to perk us up in the morning. Coffee beans are a great source of antioxidants and have a variety of health benefits. But, like everything else in this disposable world, when our coffee machines get old or give up working altogether, we are always quick to throw them away and buy the next great thing.
Instead of giving up on your tired coffee machine, you can always visit a repair shop to see if it can be mended. This will likely save you a couple of bucks and it means you are getting the most out of your original purchase.
Share it with others
Maybe your coffee maker still works fine but has simply lost its charm and you are ready for an upgrade. Why not gift your old one to a friend who would appreciate it and continue using it, rather than tossing it. It’s a great way to recycle your coffee maker and pass on your love of good coffee to someone who’ll enjoy using it as much as you did.
Give them to the Goodwill store.
If your coffee machine still works, why not donate it to goodwill, a local homeless shelter, or a charity that can put it to good use or sell it, second-hand to raise money.
Some goodwill stores or electronic stores may also accept non-working appliances. They may sell these for parts or recycle the coffee maker themselves.
Upcycle your coffee maker
One of the coolest ways to ditch your old coffee maker is by converting it into something else and giving it a new lease of life. If you’re a bit of a DIY enthusiast you’ll make easy work of this. Turn your pot into a miniature fishbowl, a plant pot, a lamp, an ashtray, or some sort of ornamental centerpiece. Check out these cool ideas below.
How to dispose of a broken coffee maker?
When your brewing machine has seen its last drip, it is time to dispose of it properly using one of the following methods –
Scrap metal recycler
Scrap metal recyclers will happily take any metal parts of your coffee machine off your hands.
Drop off box
There are some drop-off boxes that are specifically used for discarding your broken electronic gadgets. This is a good place to get rid of your coffee machine responsibly.
Local recycling center
These centers work very efficiently to dispose of broken metals in an eco-friendly fashion. Just google your local recycling center and pay them a visit. They will know what can be recycled and what cannot and should be able to offer you additional advice if you so require.
The store where you bought your appliance
If you buy your machine from a local shop, you can always try returning your item to them. Some local shops may offer a recycling service for broken electrical equipment but this might not be possible so bear that in mind.
Contact the manufacturer
Sometimes manufacturers will take back old machines for their parts. You can always give them a call to find out if they will accept your old coffee maker.
What else can you do?
When you get rid of your coffee maker, think carefully about where it might end up and do your best to resue the item before you recycle it.
The next time you make a purchase, have a quick think – is there an environmentally friendly alternative? Ask yourself, is this something I can recycle? And if not, where will it go when I’m finished using it.
Check out our other “How to” blogs for more coffee related advice: