What to Do With Old Cds? Ways to recycle or reuse

What to Do With Old Cds

CDs are recyclable, however, it will not be enough to just throw them in the trash garbage can at the curb to recycle them properly. So the question arises- what to do with old CDs? This is especially since music has now moved to streaming services and CDs are becoming less and less used.

However, you may still have a lot of CDs in their boxes at home. In these cases, you need to find a way to recycle them properly or reuse them.

What are the CDs made of?

Compact discs are made of polycarbonate plastic. For this reason, it will not be the same as recycling a water bottle, because they are different plastics. They are sorted with the number 7, which is the number for "Other plastics".

These are plastics that are difficult to recycle. Some CDs may contain traces of aluminum and gold, which are easily recyclable materials. However, keep in mind that recycling CDs is not always easy, and you can also opt for environmentally friendly alternatives to reuse them.

How to Dispose of Old Cds?

CDs consist of 3 parts: the CD, the jewel case, and the paper notes, and in many cases, only one or two of the components are actually recyclable. There are different options for recycling CDs such as:

Collection centers

CDs should not be thrown away, but recycling options will also be difficult to find. It is estimated that it will take over 1 million years for a CD to fully decompose in a landfill, and if they are burned they release harmful chemicals.

Polycarbonate contains BPA, which is linked to health problems such as reproductive problems, early puberty, blood pressure, and heart disease. CDs cannot be placed at the curb along with regular recycling. Boxes can sometimes be recycled because they are made of No. 6 plastic, which is easy to recycle.

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If you are unable to recycle CDs at home, you should contact a recycling center near you. They are likely to accept them, as they may fall into the e-waste category.

Mailing programs

There are some companies that recycle CDs, such as GreenDisk. You can search for such companies, and mail your CDs to be recycled for new uses.

These types of companies will clean, shred, mix, and combine the CDs into plastic for reuse in auto parts, office equipment, and streetlights. They will not normally charge you for the service, but you must assume the cost of shipping.

However, this will depend on the company, because some companies do have certain fees that they will charge to recycle this type of waste. However, the fee is quite small, and they are easily reused or recycled.

Selling CDs in stores

Many stores still buy and sell used CDs, just like some used bookstores. This is a market where you can buy music albums very conveniently because they are currently very cheap. Prices for used albums can be less than $5.

However, the stores will only pay about 25 cents per disc. If the discs are very good they may pay you a maximum of $1 per disc, and they are very picky about receiving these types of discs.

Sell them in an online store

Another option you have is to sell CDs or DVDs on websites such as decluttr.com. This site will resell the discs via Amazon, and you need to scan the barcode on each CD. In these cases, they will pay you around 1 or 2 dollars per disc.

You will also be able to resell your DVDs through these stores. However, if you have a good CD collection, you may find a better price if you sell them on eBay. This is because a collector may be interested in sharing your discs.

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Charities still sell CDs and DVDs and usually pick them up at their collection points. Some bookstores also stock CDs, which they will sell or use directly in stores.

How to know the type of plastic before recycling?

There are many plastic elements that have the resin identification code engraved on the plastic. This number can be from 1 to 7 and is inside distinctive traffic made of chase arrows.

However, on some items such as CDs, we will not be able to find this mark, so we will have to decipher the type of plastic on our own. The vast majority of CDs are made of number 7 polycarbonate plastics, so they are very difficult to recycle.

CDs should never be thrown in the conventional recycling garbage can, because they cannot be recycled in the same way as other plastics.

Can DVDs be recycled in the same way as CDs?

The alternatives for recycling DVDs can be the same as CDs since their composition is very similar. They have a small difference but usually contain the same materials.

CDs and DVDs can be recycled together. However, there is a big difference in the cases because the DVD cases are made of PP5, which is wrapped in a translucent PET 1 film.

Ideas for reusing your CDs at home

You can also reuse your CDs if you are not going to recycle or sell them; they can be used in different crafts such as:

  • Customize them to decorate your wall.
  • Make animal figures with pieces of CDs.
  • Create a curtain with CDs.
  • Create CD coasters decorated to your liking.
  • Use the pieces to decorate a vase for your flowers.

There are many options for reusing CDs that you are no longer going to use. It will always be better to give them a second use instead of throwing them in the trash, especially because this is a material that is not easy to recycle. If you want to recycle them, you will have to contact the nearest recycling center directly to find out if they can take your used CDs.

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