Can You Recycle Old CDs

Recycling CDs: A Simple Guide

Many have turned to the internet for music consumption in the digital age. The increased use of streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube has made music listening infinitely more convenient and, perhaps more importantly, less expensive!

Think about your music listening. How often do you spin a record on the record player, slide a CD into a car stereo, or pop a cassette into a cassette player? More likely than not, the answer is “not recently,” as playing music digitally is far easier than using physical forms of identical albums.

Old CDs can be recycled. Separate the paper inserts from the case and recycle them separately. For the CD itself, you’ll need to contact your local recycling center to make sure that they will accept them before you drop them off or put them in the curbside recycling bin.

So the question remains: What can you do with all that physical music you collected over the years? As far as vinyl and cassettes go, they can be placed in collections or sold to collectors.

However, CDs are much more common, so they are not as quickly sold off and are not worth much in a collection. It might be best to get rid of them. The question is: what is the best way to do it?

Can CDs Be Recycled?

The short answer to this question is yes. You should not throw away your CDs in the regular garbage! It is approximated it would take a CD in a landfill a total of one million years to decompose! Talk about a long time!

It’s probably safe to assume this wouldn’t be best for the environment. So recycling CDs is perhaps the best way forward for getting rid of the giant stack of discs cluttering your house.

Does Best Buy Recycle Old CDs?

Best Buy recycles old CDs and jewel cases. You can bring your old CDs to Best Buy and drop them off at the collection point in their lobby. They will then recycle them at a later date.

This is easier said than done, however, as there are a lot of different parts of a CD. The disc is made of several other materials that vary in their ability to be recycled. This includes plastics, aluminum, and gold (in very tiny amounts). Along with the disc comes a plastic case and paper inserts, which can also be recycled.

However, recycling a CD isn’t as easy as you might think! You can’t usually chuck it in the recycling bin and toss it on the curb.

Sometimes further steps must be taken to ensure your CD doesn’t end up in the landfill and ends up in a recycling center or someone else’s hands instead. So what can you do to minimize the effect your old CDs will have on the environment?

Recycling Old CDs

How To Recycle CDs

Well, there are several ways that a CD can be effectively recycled. These can include recycling, as you might know, by sending it through the proper mediums to a recycling plant of some kind to have its materials deconstructed and repurposed for other uses.

Go online and check if your town or city accepts CDs in the recycling! If they do, that’s fantastic, as it is a simple and easy way to eliminate them without harming the environment. However, if they don’t, that’s okay too. Read on for some environment-friendly CD disposal alternatives.

There are other ways that things like CDs can be reused.

Are Old CDs Worth Anything?

Old CDs can be sold online at places like or You can expect to get between $0.65 and $0.90 per CD. Certain CDs can even get you a few dollars each. If you have an extensive CD collection, this can be an excellent way to repurpose them and make some money.

Sell Them

There is still a desire for music CDs in many areas, and some stores specialize in buying and selling old music CDs. Don’t expect to get a lot for them, but something is better than nothing, and it’ll keep them in circulation rather than sitting in a landfill somewhere.

Curbside Pickup

In most cases, CDs can’t be recycled via regular curbside pickup. Sometimes they can, so check before going through the extra effort of doing some of the steps below. However, the cases for the CDs sometimes can if they’re made of No. 6 plastic, and the paper linings of the CDs can almost always be recycled via regular curbside pickup.

Separate these different components, find out what can be recycled and where, and get each to where it’s supposed to be!

Drop off Centers

If you can’t do the regular curbside pickup for your recycled goods, they can still be recycled if dropped off directly at a recycling center. This is a straightforward and low-effort solution to the problem, as you can drive over your boxes of CDs and place them right in the bin.

Check with the center before bringing in your CDs, as some don’t accept them. If they accept them, take them out of the cases beforehand, as the different parts of the CD have additional recycling requirements.


Suppose you can not recycle your CD via curbside pickup and no drop-off center local to you accepts CDs as a recyclable material. In that case, you can always use a mail-in recycling program.

Several organizations, such as GreenDisk or the CD Recycling Center of America, specialize in recycling old CDs. Mail your CDs to these organizations, and they will handle properly recycling them and avoid putting them into landfills for you.

Are CDs Collectible?

CDs can be just as collectible as any other items. This is especially true for any limited production runs or CDs with misprints or other defects that make them unique. Before you dump your CDs at a recycling facility, check to see if they are particularly rare.

Donations/Thrift Stores

If you do not want to go through the Mail-in route, there are other ways that your CDs can be disposed of. If there is no easy way to recycle them, they can be reused! Donating them to a thrift store or giving them away online can be an ethical way to rid yourself of the CDs.

Someone else will enjoy them as much as you do now! This is a very easy way to get rid of old CDs and allows them to continue spreading music around your city or town!


There are many ways to recycle or reuse your old CDs. They may seem like garbage to you in the new age of internet-based music listening, but remember that they still have an impact! Be sure to dispose of them properly if you want to eliminate them by ensuring they don’t end up in landfills.

Whether you go through the proper steps of recycling them (not just throwing them on the curb, as this will most likely land them in landfills as well) or allow them to be reused by someone else, it is important to be environmentally conscious when getting rid of your old CDs! Everyone has a lot of them, so do your part and get those CDs recycled today!

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