It’s a beautiful Wednesday morning in Kensington. The birds are singing, the sun is delightfully penetrating the thin layer of clouds, and the neighbourhood is waking up.
Two men in a white van pull into the driveway of a cozy little house. A man and woman come out to greet them. After an exchange of a few pleasantries, the men are directed to a small pile in front of the house – a burial ground for appliances.
This is nothing new for the two men – after all, their job in rubbish removal gets them into situations like this every day. They’re not surprised at the appliances they find – three toasters, three kettles, and two microwaves.
“The appliances are in working condition”, one of the men tells me later in the day. “In most cases, at least. A thorough cleaning and they’d be good as new. Instead, we bring them to the recycling centre”.
“Why do people throw away appliances in working condition,” I ask. He shrugs. “I guess it’s easier to throw them away than clean them. Besides, most of these appliances are dirt cheap, anyway” he says.
“What appliance do you find people most often throw away,” I ask him over my now cold tea. “Oh, that’s an easy one – microwaves. They store them with a few other appliances until they figure it’s enough for a pick-up and then they call us.”
His answer is hardly surprising. Surveys show 42% of people would rather replace their microwave than clean it when things get out of hand. Many people replace it once a year. Some families even replace it every few months.
What’s going on? “It’s easier that way”, is only a part of the reason. 38% of people don’t have the time to clean their microwave thoroughly. The age-old adage, “if it looks clean, it is clean” is a mantra many people swear by.
All the caked-on food residue on the walls gets ignored until it can’t be ignored anymore. And by then, it seems it’s too late to do something about it so it’s easier to throw away the microwave and buy a new one. A perfectly functioning appliance ends up in Tower Hamlets. Or worse.
The environmental impact of this waste can be huge. Some of the thrown-out microwaves get recycled. But many recycling centres do not want to deal with microwaves so oftentimes these unwanted appliances end up in a landfill. This is a huge waste of resources. Especially since it’s easily preventable.
These are perfectly functional appliances, let me remind you. Yet they end up decomposing in a landfill somewhere for no reason. It’s a sad state of affairs.
That’s easy – make sure your microwave works as intended for as long as possible. To make that happen, you’ll need to clean it properly. That’s the bad news.
The good news is it takes very little effort to keep your microwave in pristine condition. You can easily achieve it using all-natural products. Or, if you prefer, cleaning supplies from the closest store. Either method works (though in most cases I prefer the former).
Possibly the most important thing to remember is to clean your microwave at least once a week. It doesn’t need to be a deep clean, but it needs to be thorough.
A few minutes each week – that’s all it takes to keep your microwave in a good condition. And, when push comes to shove, you can always combine oven cleaning with microwave cleaning and get both appliances cleaned at a fair price.
It will be cheaper than buying a new microwave.
Hi, I’m Atanas - brand consultant and writer. I’m helping Samyx Cleaning create the best cleaning company blog on the Internet. Join us on our journey and learn how to live a cleaner, healthier, happier life in the process.