Broken microwave

You've had it with your malfunctioning microwave, blender or washing machine but you know it can still be of some use to someone, somewhere. Several people or places right in your area may be tickled pink to receive an appliance, even if it's broken.

Check out local charity shops and organizations. Some second-hand stores or charity groups may be interested in your old appliance, even if it's broken. They sell things at rock bottom prices to those in need, and someone who has the ability to fix it may come across the appliance and have it working again in no time. Make sure you tell the shops that the appliance is broken.

Post it on FreeCycle. The website FreeCycle allows people to give away or obtain a host of items that others no longer want or need. (See Resources below to find a group in your area.)

Visit your local salvage yards. Some salvage yards will accept or even purchase broken appliances, depending on their needs. See what those in your area are willing to take.

Contact artist and theater groups. Broken appliances always come with a parts that can be made into other things. Check some of the more innovative artists or theater groups in your area to see if they are interested in your appliance. Talented artists can make breathtaking work out of what some consider junk, and innovative theater groups can turn just about anything into a prop.

Turn to repair shops. Some shops will rely on workable parts from broken machines to fix others. Call around to places that usually repair the type of appliance you have and see if they want it. You may be surprised.