Recycling and Re-Using CDs and DVDs

January 2, 2012 One comment View all articles in Re-Use-It

You just tried to burn a copy of your favorite band's newest album, then you got a "disc read error" or something similar, rendering the entire CD-ROM unusable. Perhaps you've gone entirely digital and no longer have a need for all your compact discs. Or maybe you get a lot of trial programs or games in the mail and are left with a drawer full of useless CDs. Because we like to see every thing re-used and recycled here at ChasingGreen, we've put together a list of solutions you can utilize when wishing to dispose of old, unwanted, unusable CDs or DVDs. 


  • CD Recycling Center of America: This non-profit organization serves children and adults with disabilities by providing CD, DVD, and VHS recycling services. Through the CD Recycling Center of America's website, you can log in, look up an address near you, then print labels and packing slips, and track your shipment. The organization also accepts cassette tapes, inkjet cartridges, cell phones, and much, much more. Keep the CD Recycling Center of America a free service by kindly including a donation with your shipment!
  • If your CDs are still usable, take them to your local CD exchange store. You can even get some cash for your unwanted music and DVDs!


  • If you need a candle holder in a pinch, a blackout or storm, you can use an old CD to catch the hot wax and protect your surfaces. Make sure you keep an eye on the candle, and also make sure that the candle isn't bigger than the CD. 
  • Tape CDs to your bicycle wheels to serve as night-time reflectors!
  • Drill small holes in a CD and screw it onto your mailbox post or onto a wooden stake to guide visitors up and down your driveway at night. 
  • Place a CD above a light bulb to magnify the light output without additional electric use. Just don't place it too close to the bare light bulb, and make sure the bulb isn't a halogen. 
  • Dangle CDs on pieces of string over newly planted seedlings to scare off birds and other outdoor pests. 
  • Make a CD rack out of 15 old CDs, a threaded rob, eight hex nuts, 5 lock nuts, 100 washers, 1 dowel stick, and a permanent marker. Gather your craftsmanship and follow the instructions at
  • Decorate old CDs with festive, personalized holiday paintings, then drill small holes and thread ribbons through them to hang them on your Christmas tree. Even better, cut the CDs into stars or other Christmas shapes with sharp scissors!
  • Cover your old CDs with felt, then use them as coasters to prevent table stains and rings. 
  • Use old CDs as washable paint palettes!
  • Create a wind chime/mobile with used CDs and hang it on your porch! Just use craft paint or stickers to decorate them, drill holes in the CDs, attach bells or chimes, and use thread to dangle it all from a clothes hanger.
  • Break old CDs into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces and arrange them on picture frames, keepsake boxes, and other surfaces in a mosaic tile pattern. Keep them in place with hot glue or a spray adhesive.
  • Use a black, high gloss spray paint to turn old CDs into 45 records that you can use as decorations at a 50's themed party. 


Karen McFadzen on Jan. 17, 2013 at 6:07 a.m.

Hang CD with fishing line in front of windows to prevent birds from flying into the glass panes.

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