Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
Printer-friendly version Share:  Share this page on FacebookShare this page on TwitterShare this page by emailShare this page with other services

REPURPOSE | Trash into Treasures

Zap your old microwave into a postbox that delivers

Text and photos by Wendy Becktold

2 of 10

Step 2: Once you've taken the back off of the microwave, don’t touch anything inside until you have safely discharged the capacitor. It can retain a potentially lethal charge even when the machine is unplugged. (The capacitor inside an unplugged machine will slowly drain, so if your microwave has been collecting dust in your garage for years, it is probably safe. But you should follow the steps below anyway as a precaution). Locate the capacitor in the lower-right-hand corner and carefully attach alligator clips to each of its terminals. You may hear a loud snap. Take the alligator clips off and put them back on a few times to make sure the capacitor is really discharged. Click here for more on safely taking apart a microwave. (Note: If you still feel unsure about what to do, get help from someone more knowledgeable—better to be safe than sorry).

Sierra Club® and "Explore, enjoy and protect the planet"® are registered trademarks of the Sierra Club. © 2015 Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club Seal is a registered copyright, service mark, and trademark of the Sierra Club.