Can You Recycle CDs, DVDs and Other Discs?

Despite the fact that CDs and DVDs are made of plastic, your local curbside recycling program is unlikely to accept them. So what should you do?

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With popular streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and Amazon Music and Prime Video, those old CDs and DVDs may be gathering dust on the shelf.

So, the question is:

Can you recycle CDs and DVDs?

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Despite the fact that CDs and DVDs are made of plastic, your local curbside recycling program is unlikely to accept them. That’s because most of these media discs are made of a mixture of plastic resins. Since they don’t come with a specific resin identification code, which is used to help recycling centers sort materials, there’s no way to know how they should be processed.

Here are 30 ways to recycle just about anything.

What to Do with Old CDs and DVDs

1. If you have some old discs you want to get rid of, considering donating them to a charitable second-hand store.

2. If the CDs and DVDs are in mint condition and the titles are popular with collectors you might be able to sell them to a used media store in your area or check out SecondSpin.com.

3. You can use them in a DIY project. Earth 911 has a collection of great ideas for repurposing old discs.

Turn an old CD case into a seed library.

4. There are companies that accept old media, such as DVDs and CDs. CD recycling Center of America has information about how to do this in your state. The website also has information about how to recycle VHS tapes, inkjet cartridges and small electronics.

These 80 old items are fantastically fit for repurposing.

Can You Recycle Disc Cases?

Some cases for discs can be recycled. CD and DVD cases are generally made of plastic number 6. Some curbside recycling programs do accept this type of plastic, but be sure to confirm that yours does before tossing the cases in your bin.

If your recycler does accept the cases, be sure to remove any paper liners first (also recyclable) and plastic film (not recyclable) covering the case.

This is what you should do with your old chargers, wires and cables.

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Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.