When your CDs and DVDs have seen better days and you are ready to clear out your collection, consider recycling them. Green Disk, Back Thru the Future and the CD Recycling Center of America offer unique recycling options for CDs and DVDs. Green Disk also accepts other forms of electronic media, cases, cords and cables. While CDs and DVDs cannot be recycled in curbside bins, there are many reuse and alternative recycling options offered by disc recyclers that will keep them out of the landfill. If you are unable to participate in these alternative reuse and recycling programs, place unwanted CDs and DVDs and their cases in the garbage.
Every month approximately 100,000 pounds of CDs are thrown away because they are outdated or considered useless or unwanted. When we discard CDs and DVDs, what exactly are we throwing away? Data storage discs are made from mined materials like aluminum (bauxite ore), gold, silver and nickel, polycarbonate—a type of plastic made from crude oil and natural gas, lacquer which is made from acrylic (plastic), petroleum-based dyes, glass and water(1). When CDs and DVDs are recycled, the polycarbonates and metals are separated and reused, often as automotive or construction materials. In some cases, disc recyclers are able to create new discs from the old ones(2).