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Proper Green: CD Disposal, From Mail-In To Roofing

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MP3 players have made CDs old news. If you’re looking to free up some space and get rid of those CDs, these tips will help you out.
Dear Proper Green,

What can I do with all of my old CDs? I’ve got a ton of them and don’t know whether to trash them or put them in my recycling bin.

-Jim, Alpharetta, GA



Dear Jim,

Please don’t trash them! …and don’t put them in your recycling bin, either. CDs, like most other e-waste, need special care when their useful days are over. CDs are made of a plastic layer, a thin layer of metal, and an acrylic coating layer, and need to be taken apart in order to be properly recycled — a process that specialty disposal companies handle.

Here are a few resources and ideas for earth-friendly CD disposal:
  • Recycle Your CDs By Mail: There are more than a few mail-in programs that will recycle your CDs for you. Some will charge a fee for the recycling, some for the mailing, and some are completely free. Search “CD Recycling”, or just check out CD Recycling Center of America, Back Thru The Future or GreenDisk.
  • Recycle Your CDs At a Drop-Off Center: Some electronics stores will accept old equipment and recycle e-waste themselves; check with your local stores to see if they’ll take your CD collection. Best Buy also has a fairly extensive e-waste recycling program, and most of their locations accept CDs; check if your local Best Buy accepts CDs, too.
  • Sell Your CDs: Unless your CDs are scratched, broken, and unusable, consider selling them. You might be surprised at the number of people who want your trash! Craigslist and eBay are good options.
  • Reuse Your CDs: If you’re in the market for ornaments, necklaces, mobiles, clocks, coasters, lamps, wall art, or even roofing, you won’t have to go far. You can turn your CDs into any number of things; Instructables.com has guides for all of those listed above for starters.


Have any other tips on green CD disposal or reuse? Share your ideas in the comments below!
About Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and the environment are still evolving) to providing easy ways to make your every day more sustainable, Proper Green aims to help smooth the way with answers to questions that are important to you!

Do you have a question for Proper Green? Send inquiries to propergreen@recyclebank.com. Please note: Questions may be edited for clarity and length.


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Proper Green
Proper Green

Proper Green is Recyclebank's green advice column. From promoting good manners in a green world (because ideas about what constitutes proper behavior and... more