Eco Friendly Tips: How To Recycle Old CDs

2011 April 8
tags: ,
by garrettvd

How to recycle CDs

If you’re like me, you have loads and loads of old CD-R’s laying about.  Don’t throw your old, unwanted CDs out just yet!  There is far too much electronic waste in our landfills as it is.  Instead, lets recycle them!  But, are CDs recyclable, you ask?  Absolutely!  Have a look at the eco friendly tips below to learn how to recycle old CDs when it comes time to clean out your old CD rack.

How to recycle old CDs

  • Make a disco ball – That’s right! You can recycle old CDs to make a funky disco ball for your room, or to give your cubicle a little personality!  This will take a bit of effort and elbow grease, though.  You need the following materials to make your very own disco ball:
    • Unwanted CDs
    • Kitchen shears
    • Heat gun or hair dryer
    • Medium-sized Styrofoam ball
    • Thick work gloves
    • Sturdy string or wire
    • Glue gun

    Putting your disco ball together is simple:

    1. Grab your heat gun or hair dryer and begin to heat a CD up until it becomes relatively hot and malleable; this makes it far easier to cut.  (Caution: Make sure you don’t heat the CD up so much that it begins to give burn or give off a toxic odor!)
    2. At this point, you can begin to cut the CD into small pieces; use a pair of kitchen / gardening shears, as they are stronger than the average pair of scissors.  Try to cut evenly sized pieces.  I recommend 1cm x 1cm pieces, but it’s up to you.
    3. When you have a fair amount of 1cm x 1cm CD pieces, you can begin to glue them to the Styrofoam ball with the glue gun.  Start at the very bottom of the ball, and work your way up, making even rings around the ball.
    4. When you’ve glued your last CD piece to the ball, glue a string or wire onto the top so you can hang it.  Voila!
  • Make an accent wall – This is a very interesting idea I’ve heard about.  It’s only really practical if you have loads and loads of old CDs, but it’s a great idea none-the-less.  Simply take all of your old CDs and glue them to your wall, shiny side facing out!  It makes a unique (and super cool) accent wall for your home.  You’ll first need to figure out how many CDs you’ll require for your wall.  Hypothetically, let’s say you have an 8’ x 8’ accent wall. The diameter of each standard CD is 120mm, which in feet is 0.394’.  Some quick math will tell us you need 400 CDs!  If you have that many that you were going to get rid of, why not give your recreational room some personality?
  • Make a CD cover collage – Those CD covers in the jewel cases make a great collage when they pieced together.  If you’re not daring enough to make an accent wall, why not try to frame a collage of CD cover artwork and place it on the wall?
  • Make a flowerpot – Not from the CD, of course!  Generally when you buy a pack of CDR +/-, they will come in a plastic container.  Instead of throwing this container out, lets recycle it.  Drill or poke 4 holes in the bottom of the container, and cover the bottom with gravel.  Then fill the remaining space with potting soil.  Add a plant of some kind, and there you have it!
  • Make a wreath – That’s right! Recycled Christmas decorations are a perfect way to recycle old CDs!   What better way to ring in the holidays than a nice, big wreath in your living room?  Simply grab 10 or so CDs, arrange them in a circle (making sure to alternate the layering) and glue them together with a glue gun. Finish off with some ribbon, or as a way to keep the kids entertained, let the kids decorate it with some red and green acrylic paint.
  • Sell them! – If you don’t want to be crafty, you can always  recycle old CDs by bringing them to your local used music store or pawn-shop and sell them.  Believe it or not, a lot of people still love to buy physical CDs; especially those rare ones that aren’t available on iTunes.

Thought for the Day

Taking something old and unwanted and repurposing into something useful is easier than you’d think.  It just takes a bit of thinking outside of the box to recycle old CDs!  So, get your thinking cap on and lets recycle as much as possible!  Do you have some eco friendly tips for old CD’s?  Please, share with us in the comments section below.

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