please empty your brain below

Reminds me of a piece of anarchist/Situationist graffiti I saw in Lewisham in the early '90s - 'Society Manufactures Rubbish'.

There’s a whole new estate being built just between a Newham Tip and Newham Wastage plant. That is one, big, smelly business
You’ve still got the box the old microwave came in. And the one before that. Of course you have!
Two busted microwaves in two years,DG? What on earth are you doing to them?
My nearest tip bans pedestrians bearing gifts. I haven't tested whether this is actually enforced.
So the old one lasted just two years. No good, probably just out of warranty. Hopefully the new one is of better quality (or at least with longer warranty).
DG, why should anyone query disposal of 2 microwaves in a day, assuming 1 is fully legit, you are only having a clearout.

Your link (para 4) to 'disposal' was interesting, 2 free collections a year. Here in the sticks of West Berkshire the council charges £41 for collecting up to 5 items within 7 working days and a whopping £57 for collection on a nominated day. Given the absence of any meaningful bus service, if you don't have a car, you are seriously stuffed. Last time I used the service a few years ago, it was £25. I am afraid what I do now is apply screwdriver, sledge hammer, whatever and break anything up. I heard of a neighbour who put a redundant chainsaw in the fortnightly bin!!!
As a central London resident with generally no need or want of a car, I understand the frustration that is those occasions where the borough councils really seek to make it awkward to dispose of irregular items. Just last week an had to coerce a brother with a car to come into town to do a tip and charity shops run with me. I too was very impressed though with the vast selection of recycling choices when we got to the Waste and Reuse Centre.
So the microwave that just went wrong lasted only 2 years, that's not exactly outstanding reliability, my last microwave 'worked' but didn't work due to the bottom falling out, caused by rust which got hold following a catastrophic soup incident some time earlier.

Books. Cassette tapes. Discs. the usual comment about how much of this might be valuable to someone else, I think it was Tower Hamlets that was featured on one these 'ordinary people doing ordinary jobs' type programme, the council were clearing the flat of some dead person, full of stuff, but all chucked in the back of a lorry and taken down the tip, not economical to sort, and guarantee it was 'clean'.
Our local tip bans walk-ins. I think it is a safety issue because it is on a busy road. It also bans vehicles over 2m high, so if your only motor is a motorhome - tough. A relative was asked at her tip (when I drove her there) to pay £2 to dispose of 8 housebricks.

A lot of it seems to be to ensure that all "commercial waste" is paid for.

Years ago, a friend broke up a chest freezer with an axe. It seemed crazy to me, even then.
In Sutton you don't get the permit in advance. For your first visit, you take two pieces of ID with you to the tip. One has to be photo ID (to prove who you are), the other has to have your address on something official (to show that you live in the borough). Then you get a sticker for the windscreen that works for every subsequent visit.

Sutton has a webcam in the road outside the tip so you can judge the size of the queue before setting out.
That post took an unexpected swerve at the end that I wasn’t quite ready for at 8am.
What a lovely story! That final journey, by bus, to the graveyard for defunct microwaves. Did you pass bus stop M by any chance?
Electrical waste has go to an authorised place Wee directive, until we leave the EU. My local centre (Shepperton) is half a mile from a bus stop and bans pedestrians anyway.
Would be interesting to know if West Berkshire has many problems and what it costs re fly tippiing.
As others have said, two microwaves in two years is not good!

Also, if you have working items, books, cassette tapes and discs, why not sell them or give them to the charity shop? Seems more sensible to me, better for people, the planet, and not to mention better for the items themselves (they won't have to be made again)
I'd like to apologise for buying a microwave that only lasted twenty-six months. Sorry.
Kingston has the same sticker system as Sutton. Very useful for disposing of two broken garden chairs inherited by carless daughter in Reading. There was an elderly woman, with unwanted stuff, in a taxi, ahead of me in the queue on that visit.
several stations now have 'bookswap' shelves where you can leave unwanted books and take what's left there if you wish. I regularly use the Stratford one, and I know of others in Barking and Merton. Charity shops are another option, but I find it simpler to just drop a few books/magazines when I'm passing through the station.
It would be a bus and then an hours walk across fields to get to my local tip if I didn't have a car.

Back in the "old days" it would be the rag and bone man that would collect larger items. I can still hear the call from down the road that they were coming! Crikey - I sound like my dad.
I knew someone who wholehartedly supported council plans to build a "civic amenity site" adjacent to their house until they discovered it meant a tip.
Very few people, even car owners, are as conscientous as you are. If we actually want people to recycle we have got to make it a lot easier. I live in Camden, and my recycling depot is on the other side of the borough, two inconvenient bus rides away. How many people can afford to give up at least an hour and a half just to throw away an old microwave?

Disposal should be part of the cost of the appliance, and that would also encourage repair which is much better environmentally. So I think Argos should have taken your old microwave back when you bought the new one.
DG, could you not just have taken the old microwaves to Currys? I was under the impression that any store that sells electrical goods are legally obligated to recycle them under the WEEE directive.

Naturally you have to be realistic (don’t take a fridge to a mobile phone store) but it’s much easier than heading down to the tip. You don’t even need to buy anything new from most places.
Tower Hamlets pick up from your home for free, up to 3 items per call, 2-3 times a year. You call and tell them what/where. They give you a pickup date.

dg writes: Currently up to 5 items, twice a year.
One side-effect of Sutton's ID nonsense is that fly tipping in the borough has been noticeably worse since the rule came in. I always find it depressing that councils are *astounded* by the fact that fly tipping gets worse when they charge for recycling or restrict bin sizes.

In other news, I have a few sofas and mattresses available for anyone who wants them. They're a bit wet, and stored in an alleyway; however the council doesn't seem interested.
It really annoys me when people go on about giving stuff to someone else (and charity shops). I don't want it but you can have my cast-offs.

The reality is that you chucked them out for a reason. Charity shops etc. are very selective. Sometimes this is enforced. It costs them money upfront to electrically test items so they usually do not want them. Your tat takes up valuable shelf space so it is often a case of thanks but no thanks.

For months I have been bearing the brunt of my mother's downsizing. Time and time again I have had to explain that we have looked at the options, offered stuff to charity shops and found the only realistic option is to break up items on the spot and then dispose of them.
I had the same problem when I had no car. Anyone was visiting who had one, would usually find themselves having an exciting visit to Merton's "Recycle and Reuse" centre on Amenity Way. There was usually a pile of stuff in the house waiting for disposal. I once went to the extent of hiring a van because I had a load of stuff that just couldn't wait. Thankfully I lived a few minutes walk from a cheap car hire place, and had a driving license.

These days I have a car and live a mere one mile from a conveniently sited "recycling centre" so I can go at my leisure. Like many it "bans" walk ins. Although there's no staff at the entrance, and a pavement all the way round, so their ban is essentially meaningless.

Seriously, if your tip "bans" walk ins, tell 'em where to stuff it and walk in. What are they going to do"
How do we incentivise manufacturers to make things economic to repair and built to last?
Perhaps energy efficiency ratings should be over 10 years and include the energy for making the number items required to provide service over 10 years.

My expensive Vax cleaner is falling to pieces, the manufacturer's 6 year guarantee excludes premature wear and spares are extortionately priced.
In the borough of Richmond they have started to have recycling bins occassionaly in some of their libraries where you can put broken electrical goods. I haven't tested them yet with a microwave but I have disposed of a toaster and and CD player that way. Larger items such a hover and radiator have been collected promptly from outside our house on payment of a fee.
I don't know if our tip (Harrow) refuses walk ins per se, but even though it is conveniently located it is accessed by a steep ramp that doesn't seem to have a footpath.
Maybe it's round the back because the staff have to get up and down somehow!

They've gone 'resident only'too maybe because it's the closest for some of those living at the Harrow- end of neighbouring boroughs - including my parents who are a bit stuffed now!
Because the opening hours and geography were more convenient I used to use the tip in a neighbouring borough, but most local authorities have now erected import barriers and that's not been possible for a long time now.

A residents' parking permit used to be enough to get you in to ours, but as the parking permit scheme has gone paperless you now need to apply for a a special vehicle permit to visit the tip (joined up thinking there....)

My local tip also banned pedestrians for a while, but seems to have seen sense now.
Eventually the recycling bins themselves will wear out, and which recycling bin do you put those in, eh? That's something no-one seems to have an answer for.
That final sentence hit home. My father died 3 years ago and my sister and I spent every Wednesday for several months doing 6 or 7 trips each to the tip with our cars full of stuff. A lifetime of accumulated stuff, all bearing much meaning, but mostly, fortunately, not to us. We had to just get on with it and joke whenever possible.
Finished it resolved to start clearing out my own junk before my partner or sons have to do it. Haven't started yet of course.

Meanwhile I too remember the rag and bone man with a horse and cart.

And there was a council lorry for "the salvage" - big bundle of newspapers and other paper tied up with string.
@Uncle Audrey
I think Bertrand Russell had the answer to your question, or something like it ....
It wasn't nice going through my Gran's things - it's unnerving when a lifetime's worth of stuff has lost its owner. I'm retrospectively glad to have made a few really good decisions a long time ago when my life was too mobile to collect or be sentimental about things - I really appreciate that every day I sit at her elegant Heel's table, cut my bread on her bread board and grind pepper from her pepper mill. They are useful things shared through both our lives.

Lambeth's Vale Street tip is good - it's on a hail and ride section of the 322 that goes past the door and you can walk in.
Buy a microwave oven from Lidl and you get a three year warranty.
Who would have thought dg's microwave history would have been so interesting (judging by the 35+comments)?
I had a pretty big surprise recently. I (do have a car and) would periodically go to my local tip, often to dispose of old tut, including old metal.
The surprise was finding that there's a scrap metal place which is not only nearer but also (and this is what made it a good surprise) gives you money for it. I expected pennies - they gave me pounds!
Hmmm... given that there obviously good money in certain kinds of 'waste' I've been forced to wonder why so many council sites get so fussy with their "local residents only" policies.
(For anyone in the SE18 area, the tip at Plumstead recently started requiring ID to admit entry.)
Note to Pedantic of Purley - the British Heart Foundation charity shops take electrical goods (They do so in Taunton, at any rate)
Public service FYI: My microwave has an oblong of silvery, cardboardy, mica inside it that covers the "waveguide" radiation source. Every so often a splatter will cause a small hotspot and the electrical fizzing begins. I just lift it out, and use it as a template to cut a new oblong from some replacement material bought online. No need to go to dump!
All my Betamax tapes from the Eighties I kept, after my video player expired, for the best part of twenty years in the hope that I could get hold of a replacement from a charity/second hand shop but to no avail. I had some brilliant recordings (in my opinion) but they ended in the black bin destined for the tip.
For very many years on my way to work I passed a traditional suit making tailors shop with an old gentlemen sat hand sewing in the window. One day the shop was shut, it never opened again. A few weeks later there was a skip outside and everything from the shop was being thrown into it including all the tools and woollen fabrics.
@Rayl and @Chz: This week's local paper has an article on the new van (+larger) vehicle scheme that will start on Dec 03.

There is no change in access arrangements for residents with cars, and pedestrians are welcome too.
I recently moved and adopted the following strategy.

Mid sized things like occasional tables, Pictures, Old Hi Fi items, Computers etc. were left outside on the front wall near the pavement , most were gone within hours.

Bigger things like chairs , Tables , Chest of drawers, Wardrobes were arranged to be collected by British Heart Foundation who have informed me that they have already made over £50 from the sale of some items plus a dividend due to the Charity Giving Scheme.

It is the brick a brac and incidentals which are the hardest combined with books and CD's.

All of which have a personal memory value greater than their possible real world value.

However once started and given a generous selection of Charity Shops this soon becomes a positive experience.
I once availed myself of Waltham Forest's collection service for a dead microwave. They made me make an all-morning (or all-afternoon) appointment, alternate Tuesdays only, and someone had to be in to sign for it.

The local scrap metal merchants are a bit more efficient - our builder left out a radiator that didn't fit in their skip, and some men in a white van took it away at 7am the next morning.
DG,was your microwave a Samsung? Coincidentally, mine stopped working after 26 months earlier this year.

dg writes: No.
There are some genuinely sad and touching comments today, from those who have had to go through the process of disposing of the possessions of a loved one.
Been there. It's tough, but often there's little alternative to getting it done.
Condolences and comisserations.
I can only hope that - when I'm gone - the folks who get to clear the stuff in my house get to realise that the stuff I've accumulated is anything but junk !!!
I will haunt them forever if they sell the OK stuff off for peanuts and just chuck the rest of it in a skip! :O
So in the UK, the skip goes to the tip? In the US, a dumpster goes to the dump.

I didn't know that tip = dump, officially called sanitary landfill
As if to highlight one of the themes of the comments:

I only have to show evidence of address (eg a council tax statement) to access my local tip. Both my sons and friends live outside the borough but I just give a copy to whoever is taking stuff to the tip for me and they never have a problem in gaining access.
"My past experience of 'going to the tip' is from years ago, and involved getting into the family car with some unwanted artefacts and driving into the countryside."

The family fly-tippng day out?
Having just purchased a brand new fitted kitchen complete with built in microwave I was left with an unwanted microwave in perfect working order complete with instruction book, I duly photographed it and placed an add on my local "Freecycle" site last Sunday morning, within two hours I had received 18 requests for it and a very happy man came and collected it at 6pm the same day, he had travelled for over an hour on local buses to pick it up and I was pleased that it was going to someone who obviously wanted it very badly.
Yes. West Berks does have a fly tipping problem.
Do you believe it is unconnected?
Funnily enough my microwave of 10+ years is sitting in my corridor as my wife decided last week that we no longer needed a microwave and could do with the additional space on the kitchen work surface. I don't think I'll miss it other than when needing to cook the occasional 'baked' potato. Maybe you should have considered whether you need a microwave at all?
The EU WEEE directive is very good for consumers. There's no obligation for customers to buy anything from electrical retailers if you want to recycle unwanted goods with them.

I found out by chance in Currys when an assistant told me that I did not have to buy a microwave from them in order to use their recycling facilities. In fact, they would accept anything electrical related. I came back with two CRT TVs, broken speakers, dvd players, kitchen goods and a bag full of cables, plugs & batteries.

Microwaves are incredibly useful for the singleton, as it's a pain in the whatnot to cook single servings of a lot of things and a microwave is the simplest solution for reheating leftovers. I'm in a household of four, and it still gets used for leftovers, prepping jacket potatoes before 15 mins in the oven to crisp up, and - most importantly - porridge. Pretty good for milky hot chocolate, too.

Though I suppose it does depend on your countertop space. In our case, there are less used things that take up the same/more room.
The kids use ours mostly, but personally, at this time of year the microwave comes into its own for heating up a mug of mulled wine - cos I'm such a classy bird!
What I would have done is broken out the screwdrivers to dismantle it and chucked the individual components into the regular household waste one by one over a period of several weeks.
Living in Newham at the Waltham Forest boundary at the top of E7 their tip access is useless to me.I used to sneak over the the one in WF via ASDA but I think they require ID now despite them in effect making money out of my waste recycling!
@Chz you should do porridge on the stove, not the microwave, gives much better results. I do get the bit about warming up.
If you have any smaller electrical items for recycling, you can take them to Tower Hamlets libraries and Ideas Stores (the posh libraries). Sadly microwaves are deemed medium sized, so for you it still involves two buses to the tip. I say sadly but of course, for most of us reading this each day, there's nothing sad about catching two buses. We rather enjoy it. As does the author I suspect.
I used to live in a borough with a "no pedestrians" rule and a growing pile of dead hard drives and similar e-waste, and eventually shoved it into a backpack and went to the tip by bicycle. Apart from the staff jokingly asking if I wanted to recycle the bike as well, I was clearly following the letter of the rules so they didn't care.

Now I live in the Netherlands, nobody bats an eyelid to bicycles piled high with junk bungeed on any which way that fits. The Dutch are a thrifty lot, and a bike chokka with empty bottles is good for at least €6 in returned statiegeld. Now if only they'd extend the statiegeld system to, say, old microwaves so that they don't get flytipped by people less conscientious than DG...
My local tip is No Pedestrians. However I suspect that this is more due to the fact that many people were leaving their cars whist in the queue waiting to get in to the tip and then walking the rubbish in.

The introduction of the brown bins instead of black bags for rubbish collection was a blessing. I've lost count of the amount of items (including two laser printers and various CRT monitors / TVs that have been dismantled and disposed off in this way over the years. Bigger metal items are just left near the gate for the modern-day rag and bone men to collect.

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