10 Ways To Recycle Old CDs

We know you’ve got a bunch of old CDs laying around your place, so here’s a list of 10 things you can do with them from DIY site Curbly.

Our favorite use for old CDs wasn’t on the list. We buy these thin cork coasters from IKEA (which are flimsy and completely useless on their own) and glue them to old CDs. They make great coasters, if you’re not afraid of seeming a little nerdy in favor of preventing cup rings. We aren’t.

Top 10 Creative Ways to Recycle CDs [Curbly]

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  1. savvy9999 says:

    I can’t believe an obvious one was missed– donate your old CDs/DVDs (that are still playable) to your local library. Make sure you get a letter from the library stating how many you gave and when. The details of each CD are not important for the letter. They usually do not want or need cases, since they will put the CD in a new lockable case.

    Come tax day, per Amazon I figure these are worth between $5-15 each as a charitable contribution. Thank you, RIAA for keeping CD prices so inflated.

    Plus, someone else may enjoy it. Beats wasting space in a box in my basement (since I have everything burned to high-bitrate mp3s and backed up several times over)

  2. acambras says:

    @savvy9999:

    Great idea!

    I find it hard to believe that the USPS wouldn’t go completely APESHIT about people trying to turn CDs into postcards.

  3. The_Shadow says:

    You can send quite a lot of things through the mail as long as it’s properly addressed and has correct postage. I read an article several years ago that detailed how to mail a shoe…

  4. ChrisC1234 says:

    @acambras: Actually, you can mail almost anything you can affix postage and an address to. I spent a summer at the beach in 99, and we would send inflated beach balls as postcards. They cost about $0.90 in postage (because postage is computed by weight, not volume), and were much more memorable than a post card ever could’ve been.

  5. wishlish says:

    Most libraries won’t want your old CDs and DVDs- the cost of cataloging and labeling them tend to be higher than the cost of acquisition. Check with your library first about their donation policy before donating books and CDs.

  6. acambras says:

    @The_Shadow:

    @ChrisC1234:

    REALLY??? I’m still surprised by that. Every time I go to the post office, I’m grilled about the contents of whatever parcel I’m mailing. Also, with so much automated equipment, I would think that mailing odd-sized items (which have to be handled by humans instead of machines) would be more expensive, if not prohibited altogether.

    I do notice you mention sending beach balls in 1999. I wonder if anyone’s done that successfully since 9/11/01.

  7. TeraGram says:

    @acambras:

    Be skeptical if you’d like. Email to me your address and I’ll waste a buck or two snail-mailing a beach-ball to you.

  8. ChrisC1234 says:

    @acambras: Yeah, I’d be curious to know if it can still be done too. I remember when we were mailing those, it was some girls who started doing it. I was just in shock about what were going to do, and even told them “You can’t do that!”. but apparently I was wrong. The only thing we’re not quite sure of is if the ball got deflated along the way and then re-inflated at the destination (but it DID arrive inflated).

  9. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    I have to second what Wishlish said. I used to work in a library. One time, someone donated about 200 CD’s to us. Guess what happened to that donation? We tossed the CD’s and kept the jewel cases. Yeah, sad. Same thing with magazine donations. We only kept what we needed and tossed the rest. Always ask the library what they need, rather than just dropping off a box at their back door.


    Anyways, I think making a lamp is the coolest project you can do with old CD’s. Instructions and pictures here.

  10. acambras says:

    I’m not trying to be an a-hole or anything. It sounds like a fun idea. It just seems that in this post-9/11 era, the U.S. Postal Service (or any other part of government) isn’t really so amused by fun ideas anymore.

  11. ironchef says:

    Round shaped postcards are charged 12 cents extra…

    it’s a penalty you pay for shipping a “non-machineable” piece of mail.

    THere’s a good likelihood the shipping takes extra time to deliver too.

  12. I mailed a cucumber to myself while on vacation. Ended up receiving a pickle 6 months later

  13. @acambras: They’re a lot more concerned about wrapped packages that could have ANYTHING in them than about you mailing a shoe or inflated beach ball “naked.” (As noted, you do pay the “odd-size” premium but it’s not usually that big.)

  14. Jesus On A Pogo Stick says:

    My grandparents love it when they get CDs in the mail. They use them in their garden to keep rabits, birds, deer, ect. out of their garden. They like going to Best Buy and places like that for the free CDs. I remember one time when my grandpa went into a Staples and asked a sales person if he could have a stack of about 100 AOL CDs. Dude said yes and it totally maid my grandpa’s day.

  15. RebekahSue says:

    #1 DO NOT HANG THEM FROM YOUR FUCKING REAR VIEW MIRROR. I’m amazed that the idiots who do this are never blinded by someone else’s dum idea; or is there only one idiot who follows me around the US?

    However. I’m saying this as a suggestion and not to get into a political debate. Many people who oppose the war do support the soldiers. There are sites ( being one) through which you can send a care package specific to a soldier’s or troop’s needs. i just looked to see what marines are requesting, because my mom’s friend’s son was just deployed and we’re sending a box.

    i’d also suggest seeing if your used book stores or record stores will take them for cash or credit. i paid a lot of money to buy alice cooper’s complete catalog in a fell swoop; many were japanese imports out of print here. as i’ve said before, it’s not practical to put my record player in the car…

  16. Trackback says:

    This is one of the reasons why I LOVE Curbly! The other day I wrote up a top ten list about using old CD’s to make stuff. Meg over at The Consumerist picked up the post and one of their readers posted a link in THAT post to this how-to post which I’m now posting here.