How To Recycle Old Media: Dispose of CD’s, Floppy Disks, and VHS Tapes the Green Way
If you’re like me, you have a really hard time throwing old stuff in the garbage, if only for the guilt that comes with knowing its going to end up in a landfill. On the other hand, useless clutter sitting around your home is no way to live either. Not only does clutter get overwhelming over the years, but it is extremely liberating to get rid of it and free up your life.
The question is, how do you dispose of old, relatively useless media such as CD’s, Floppy Disks, VHS tapes or even old computers without them ending up in a landfill?
You can’t just throw an old CD or CD-R in the recycle bin thinking it will end up getting recycled at the neighborhood recycling center. CD’s are not only made of polycarbonate plastic which is not considered recyclable at most mass recycling centers, but are layered with an aluminum sheet as well which needs to be separated from the plastic before any of it can be processed. All is not lost though, as there are several recycling services that disassemble individual CD’s, cassesttes, VHS tapes and electronics and greenly dispose of the parts.
Green Disk is a nice service that will dispose of CD’s and other old computer related media. It does cost money, but they will send you the tools you need to send on your old stuff for them to recycle and dispose of. If you want it done right, this is a good option despite the cost, especially if you have several types of media you want to dispose of.
Back Thru the Future Technology Disposal also offers CD and DVD recycling. The benefit of this program is that you only pay for packing materials and shipping, and they take care of the rest. Additionally, Back Thru the Future also offers hard drive recycling as well.
The CD Recycling Center of America is a great free resource for recycling CD’s, DVD’s, printer ink cartridges, VHS tapes, cassette tapes, and small electronics. Again, the only cost is shipping your items to the center.
Some electronics stores such as Staples and Best Buy also offer recycling for small electronics such as old laptops, monitors, CD players, DVD players, toner and ink cartridges, and more. The best thing about the recycling programs at these stores is that you can drop items off yourself and not have to pay shipping, plus sometimes they offer promotions and coupons such as trade-in gift cards for working used electronics.
Some used book stores such as Half Price Books will take old VHS tapes, cassettes, and records, and in some cases give you money for them.
Its also good to note that while the media itself might not be easily recyclable, CD jewel cases and spindles are recyclable plastic and can be put in your neighborhood recycle bin in most cases. The same goes for the cardboard VHS jackets and CD inserts.
If you have old electronics or cell phones that still work, try having a yard sale, or sell them on ebay. You would be surprised how much money you can get!