How to Properly Dispose of Your Old CDs and DVDs

How to Properly Dispose of Your Old CDs and DVDs
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The end of the year is a great time to get into a serious tidy up at home. Especially if you’re taking advantage of the 2020 Black Friday sales, you’re likely going to be accumulating a lot of ‘stuff’ over the next few months, so cleaning house and getting rid of all those odd bits and pieces you no longer need is probably a good idea.

The last time we spoke cleaning hacks (or disposing hacks, rather) we took a look at how to properly get rid of mattresses. We’ve also investigated recycling batteries; getting rid of grease and oil; and what to do with old VHS tapes.

Today we’re talking about how to dispose of CDs and DVDs (along with their homes).

If you’ve come across an old collection of discs that have no place in your life and want to get rid of them, please be warned that you cannot just toss them in the bin.

On the topic of disposing of these items Planet Ark says, “CDs and DVDs are non-biodegradable and contain toxic chemicals and metals that can contaminate the environment if landfilled”.

Yikes.

Okay, so how do I dispose of CDs and DVDs?

Instead of going for the standard bin option, Planet Ark shares that you should be looking to have CDs and DVDs “repaired or recycled to recover resources”.

There are a number of companies across the company that will recycle discs – mostly for commercial businesses. To see which ones are closest to you, check out Planet Ark’s recycler finder here.

What about CD/DVD players and other devices?

If you have old DVD players, gaming consoles, radios or any other kind of e-waste, it’s also important that you properly dispose of them.

Planet Ark writes on this:

“Electrical appliances are made up of a broad range of materials including precious metals (such as gold and platinum), toxic heavy metals, metal circuitry, mixed plastics, fire retardants and glass. Heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic as well as flame-retardants can cause environmental contamination through leaching from e-waste in landfill into water systems. By recycling, this contamination can be avoided and useful resources can be conserved, as up to 95% of materials can be recovered for reuse.”

Some companies organise take-back programs where you can donate old devices for a discount. Alternatively, companies like E-Waste Sydney will collect ‘end of life’ equipment for recycling. Best bet is checking out the Planet Ark resource to see which recycling business is closest to you.

So, in a nutshell: if you want to dispose of an item (like old CDs and DVDs) and it seems kind of awkward, chances are they’re not made for the regular ol’ garbage. Resources like Planet Ark are super useful – try and take advantage of them.

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