DVDs and CDs: Recycle This

Hundreds of millions, if not billions, of DVDs, CDs and game discs are discarded each year.

Recycling could address a great portion of that problem.  But don’t dream of throwing out the DVD wtih the regular recycling! That’s because discs are made of high-grade polycarbonate, which when mixed with other, lesser-grade plastics, produces an inferior recycled plastic.

So what to do?

You certainly don’t want to throw it in the trash, right? In that case, they would most certainly end up in incinerators and we don’t need to remind you about the fumes that would emit into our environment.

Luckily disc recycling specialists have been sprouting up all over the place, as of late! GreenDisk is one such company. GreenDisk is more focused on companies versus individuals, providing a collection box for recycleable DVDs and CDs. Store customers and employees fill the bins with discs, cases and jewel boxes. The retailer then clicks on the GreenDisk Web site for pick-up by FedEx or USPS trucks. It’s that easy.  (Hey – maybe you know a company that needs to learn about GreenDisk’s services!)

For every 40,000 pounds collected��?about 1.3 million discs, they’re sent to China, where both the Recycling Center and GreenDisk send the plastics to be turned into auto parts and building materials.

If you have a few CDs or DVDs to ird yourself of, consider these crafty ideas:

CDs and DVDs are very easy to cut into any shape with ordinary household scissors and can be decorated with a variety of markers and paints. Here are some simple ideas:

Drink coasters – Buy a small piece of corkboard from a craft store, cut four 1 x 1 inch squares and glue them to the printed side of the CD. Leave the shiny side up as your coaster. You can also use the pre-gummed felt circle table protectors instead of the cork.

Candle holder – Place the CD under large pillar candles to catch the wax.

Bird chasers—Hang CDs in your garden. The shiny surface moving in the breeze will scare away birds.

Reflectors – Use as reflectors on fenceposts, bicycles, driveways, or anywhere you want to call attention to something in the dark.

Garden Row Markers—Write the name of the vegetable with a permanent marker on the CD-ROM. Cut the edges of each into a flower shape if you want. Glue or tack the CD-ROM to a stick and put in the ground to mark your garden rows.

If the CD or DVD is music or a movie and you just don’t want it any more, put it back into circulation by trading them in at a music store that accepts used CDs, or donate them to charity.