Can You Recycle CDs – The Easy Guide

If you like one in the many thousands of people who used CD’s back in the 90’s then you would know it was a great time to be alive because it was the next craze after magnetic tape cassettes.

But that time has come and gone and many computers and media players have phased out CD players and readers all together thanks to online streaming taking over the industry, so the question everyone asking is Can You Recycle CDs? This article will provide answers to the question of whether or not you can recycle CDs.

You’ll also find out about options for recycling CDs and where to take them for recycling.

How to Recycle CDs

CDs are made of polycarbonate plastic and can be recycled.

Some people would rather throw them in the trash, but that’s a massive waste of CDs.

Additionally, CDs can contaminate other recyclable materials if thrown into the same bin.

With that in mind we recommend reusing, upcycling or if you can give away these old CDs to someone else then its better than throwing them out.

A few options are available if you want to recycle your old CDs.

Sell Your CDs

You can sell your unwanted CDs on eBay or Craigslist or visit local music stores that pay for used albums and singles.

If you have more than 100 CDs, it’s worth the time to sort through the collection and pick out those in good condition.

You can make more money by selling individual disks rather than entire cases.

Curbside Recycling

Most cities allow residents to recycle their old CDs through local trash pickup.

You can place your CD in a clear plastic bag and put it in with your regular trash collection.

If you have questions about whether or not your town offers a curbside recycling program, check with your city’s website or call them directly.

Drop-Off Centers

Drop-off centers accept electronics such as computers and televisions if you don’t want to wait for your city to pick up your old CDs.

These centers are often located near public libraries and other government offices.

Make sure you know what items the center accepts before dropping off your materials because some centers do not take certain types of electronics like desktop personal computers (PCs).

Mail-in Programs

Many companies offer mail-in programs that allow you to send in old CDs for recycling.

This can be a convenient option if you need more time or transportation to drop off your CDs at a recycling center.

You’ll need to determine whether the company recycles jewel cases and the actual CD itself.

Some only accept jewel cases for recycling, while others don’t accept either item at all.

The best option is to check with the company directly before mailing in your items because they may charge extra fees if they have to sort through hundreds of discs before recycling them properly.

5 Creative Ways to Reuse CDs

CDs are a great way to store photos, artwork, and other essential documents.

But your CD collection can get out of control if you need the proper storage solution.

Here are a few ways to reuse CDs without throwing them in the trash.

You may be surprised on the creative ways you can go about recycling your CDs.

Mosaic Mirror

Mosaic mirrors are made from recycled CDs and hobby glue.

The craft requires cutting the CDs into small pieces using a saw or other cutting tool.

You will then arrange these pieces on a flat surface to create your mosaic mirror design.

Once you’ve finished laying out the tiles, apply hobby glue to each piece and allow them to dry completely before hanging your new creation.

Jazzed-up Jewelry

A CD can be used as a pendant or chain component in jewellery designs.

You can cut out shapes or use them as a setting for beads or other charms.

The flat side of the CD makes it easier to drill holes in it than if it were round.

You can also cut out shapes with a utility knife to create attractive designs that might not be possible using other materials.

Funky Homemade Disco Ball

A disco ball is made up of many small mirrors that reflect light and create the illusion of sparkles dancing around the room.

It’s a great way to enhance any decor without spending much money.

Use your old CDs as mirrors in this do-it-yourself project.

Beach Art Project

If you’re headed to the beach this summer, take some old CDs and create fun beach art projects with them! You can paint them or coat them in glitter; whatever you want! This is also a great way to recycle those old CDs you’re sick of looking at around your house.

CD Beads

Another great way to reuse old CDs is by turning them into beads! This is an excellent option if you don’t have much space in your home but want to add some color and fun decor pieces.

You can use a hole puncher or a drill to make holes in each side of the CD, then thread the cord through them and knot at the top so they stay in place.

You can also use hot glue instead of a cord if you like.

Decorative Coasters

If you have a lot of CDs, you can make coasters out of them by gluing felt or other material onto one side of each CD and then placing them in a stack on top of each other with spacers between them.

This is also a great way to recycle old cassettes.

Legal Issue

It determines the rules and regulations for who, what, where, when, why, and how to recycle your CDs.

It is essential to know that some states require you to have this type of policy in place to recycle CDs.

The following are some examples of what could be included in your policy:

  • What kinds of materials can be recycled?
  • Who is eligible to participate in the program?


Ultimately, recycling CDs is beneficial in many aspects.

Recycling CDs is always a good alternative, whether collecting raw materials for further manufacturing or disposing of hazardous waste.

But more importantly, you can involve yourselves in the movement by encouraging others to recycle CDs as well as you.

Soon enough, we will have a healthy environment to live in, free from the harmful effects of waste materials that fill up our lands and harm our bodies.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you tell the type of plastic you’re trying to recycle?

You need to check for a number on the bottom of the container that indicates what type of plastic it is.

If there is no number on the bottom, you can look at the “bottom line” (where it says what it is made from) on the container.

Can DVDs be recycled with CDs?

It depends on whether you live in a city with single-stream recycling.

If you do, DVDs can be recycled along with other plastic items.

However, if your city doesn’t have single-stream recycling or doesn’t have access to it because of where you live, you’ll need to find a place that accepts them separately from CDs and other plastics.

How can I repair a scratched CD/DVD?

The first thing to try is cleaning the disc. If you have a disc with just a few minor scratches, you can often remove them using an alcohol-based cleaner and a soft cloth.

Cleaning the disc with a cleaning solution is not recommended because it will likely worsen the scratches.

If the scratches are deep, consider buffing or polishing the surface of your disc.

You can find polishing kits at most major retailers.

If your CD/DVD has deep gouges or cracks, you may need to replace it with a new one.