What to Do with CDs and Tapes: Recycling Tips and Tricks

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Last Updated on October 19, 2023

Ever questioned what to do with CDs and tapes now that all the things is accessible digitally? Remember the times when Blockbuster was big, individuals would burn their very own CDs, and everybody had Disney motion pictures on VHS? Since most of our media has made the transfer to digital (whats up, Netflix and Spotify), it’s rendered most CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes out of date.  

That mentioned, many people nonetheless have collections of CDs, DVDs, and VHS tapes tucked away someplace. If that sounds such as you, you may be questioning what’s one of the best ways to get rid of them. Can you recycle VHS tapes? What does CD recycling appear like? This publish is right here that will help you know what to do with previous CDs and learn how to get rid of them correctly!

Photo of a CD with overlay text reading "8 Ways to Recycle CDs, DVDs, + VHS Tapes"

what to do with CDs

Well, it will differ relying on the state you reside in and your native recycling legal guidelines. Most CDs + tapes will find yourself in a landfill the place it’s estimated it is going to take greater than 1 million years for a CD to utterly decompose.  

Yikes! In a world the place many people collected CDs and had dozens (if not tons of) of them, that’s numerous practically-permanent waste simply sitting in landfills.

However, there are just a few methods to recycle VHS tapes and CDs. Here’s what that you must learn about what to do with CDs now that you just’re performed with them.

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what to do with previous CDs

Many individuals wishcycle and toss their previous CDs into the recycling bin, assuming it is going to be taken care of from there.

However, you can’t put CDs within the recycle bin, nor another discs like DVDs. Your native curbside recycling program is unlikely to simply accept them resulting from most CDs and DVDs being constituted of a mixture of plastic resins. So, what to do with previous CDs in the event that they’re not recyclable?

It’s at all times a good suggestion to test your native recycling legal guidelines. You can discover them at your native .gov or native sanitation division’s web site.

Most CD circumstances are polystyrene (plastic #6), whereas the discs themselves are sometimes polycarbonate (plastic #7). These are sometimes more durable plastics to recycle, making CD recycling troublesome. 

CDs and DVDs are additionally fairly flimsy, skinny, and small — they’d simply break or get misplaced within the recycling course of.  

Eventually, most CDs will find yourself within the landfill or incinerator. And burning CDs can launch harmful chemicals into the air, resembling sulfur dioxide, dioxins, and hydrochloric acid.  

That’s as a result of polycarbonate comprises bisphenol-A (BPA), which has hyperlinks to reproductive points, blood strain issues, coronary heart illness, and early puberty. So it’s protected to say tossing them within the trash isn’t the most suitable choice for people or the surroundings.

A row of VHS tapes in a post about how to recycle VHS tapes

are you able to recycle VHS tapes? 

Don’t put your previous VHS tapes within the recycling bin both: the casings for tapes are constituted of polypropylene (plastic #5), and the tape itself is polyethylene terephthalate (plastic #1). 

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Since VHS tapes are manufactured from blended plastic resins, they usually’re smaller objects, they aren’t thought of curbside recyclable. They’d additionally break and the tape itself would get tangled within the recycling machines.  

However, you possibly can donate your previous VHS tapes to a secondhand retailer, like a thrift retailer, or give it to a good friend. Even if it’s broken or scratched, it’s possible they’ll restore it and resell it.  

ought to I throw away previous discs? 

No, you shouldn’t throw away previous discs until it’s the final resort. Instead, donate your previous discs to thrift shops or discover music resellers who will resell them. This doesn’t apply to clean or burned CDs, which I’m sorry to say, don’t carry the identical sentimental worth to others as they could to you.

Stacks of CDs to illustrate what to do with CDs

learn how to recycle CDs, DVDs, and tapes 

Okay, so what are all of the methods we are able to successfully recycle CDs, DVDs, and tapes? I’ve compiled a listing: 

  • Donate your previous tapes and CDs to thrift shops or music resellers. 
  • Sell them on-line or give them away in your native Facebook market. 
  • Give them to family and friends members who take pleasure in accumulating them or have the {hardware} to make use of them (aka DVD gamers, stereos, VHS gamers, and so on.). 
  • See in case your native senior heart or nursing houses would need them. 
  • Use them in DIY artwork initiatives or discover native artists who can be concerned with utilizing them of their subsequent initiatives.  
  • Mail your media to GreenDisk to be recycled. Just ensure to take away any paper sleeves (these might be recycled with different paper). CD jackets are workplace paper and VHS sleeves are paperboard. 
  • See if BestBuy will settle for your media — they take most digital waste, each massive and small. 
  • Terracycle has a storage media zero waste box. You should purchase one for your self to make use of or see in case your native music/DVD retailer will provide one for his or her clients to make use of. 
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in case you can’t recycle CDs, can you place them in with the overall waste? 

When all else fails, and these recycling/upcycling alternatives aren’t an choice, sure you possibly can put CDs on the whole waste — which means, with the remainder of your rubbish.  As acknowledged beforehand, this ought to be your final choice as these discs don’t break down properly in landfills.

what are upcycling initiatives you are able to do if CD recycling isn’t an choice?

There are a great deal of crafts and initiatives you need to use your previous discs for! You can break them up and make mosaic mirrors or disco balls. You can even upcycle these discs into coasters or guitar picks!

Did you discover this information to recycling CDs & tapes useful? Let me know within the feedback under!

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