What To Do With Old CDs?

Velina Nenova
Velina Nenova

Updated · Jun 29, 2022

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The rapid evolution of technology has changed many industries over the last 20 years, including the transition of our music libraries to MP3 formats. And as such, you may have found yourself surrounded by CDs that aren’t so useful anymore. So if you wonder what to do with old CDs, our guide presents eco-friendly ways to get rid of those unwanted compact discs.

What To Do With Old CDs 

Nowadays, you can carry most of what you need and desire from technology on your smartphone, requiring additional gadgets to enjoy your old CDs. But why bother lugging around a Sony Discman when you can simply use your phone to listen to your favorite songs?

Most people no longer listen to CDs. Unless they convey sentimental value, there’s no need to exhaust storage with them. So how can you get rid of them—barring throwing them in the garbage? Consider the following four ways to make use of your CDs. 

  1. Resell 
  2. Recycle
  3. Donate
  4. Repurpose 

1. Resell 

Is it possible to make money by getting rid of your CDs? Yes. Remember that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. You can sell your CDs online (individually or in bulk) or via record stores. Consider the following detailed look at these options.      

  • Online (Individually)

If you have the patience, you can list each of your CDs for sale online for a higher price than by bundle—especially if they’re rare. Facebook Marketplace, Amazon, eBay, and Craigslist are popular platforms you would find beneficial.

If you use this option, make sure that your CDs aren’t scratched and are in working condition. If they have scratches, you can polish them with a lint-free cloth or restore them with a scratch kit and make them look brand new again.

  • Online (Bulk) 

If you don’t have enough time on your hands and wonder how to get rid of your CDs ASAP, selling them in bulk online is the way to go.

The only disadvantage to getting rid of your CDs via this method is that you won’t make much money. Most websites that offer this option pay $0.32 to $3.78 per item. The process of shipping is straightforward. Simply type the barcodes of your CDs on the website to get a quote, then ship them and receive your money.

A few popular sites that offer this option include:

Decluttr receives items only within the US, and you can choose direct deposit or PayPal for your payments or donate to charity. 

Eagle Saver receives packages from all over the world. But if you ship items from outside the US, you’re responsible for the shipping costs and receive your payment only via PayPal. Otherwise, you can get your money by check or PayPal.

Bonavendi provides the best offers for your CDs on various vendor websites with different payment methods. But you can ship your items only within the US.

  • Record Stores

Another surprising way to dispose of CDs is to sell them to record stores, which look forward to buying your old and unwanted CDs, records, and cassettes. Again, your CDs must be in good working condition. 

Fortunately, some record stores have machines that repair damaged compact discs. It’s a good idea to check out a store’s requirements so that you won’t be disappointed when you get there.

2. Recycle

If you don’t have much time on your hands, the easiest way to dispose of CDs is to dump them in the trash. But we don’t recommend this since it takes more than a million years for them to decompose in a landfill.

Nowadays, we need to think more about the environment and be as eco-friendly as possible. But can CDs be recycled? Yes, but it’s not as easy as tossing them in a standard recycling container.

CDs are made of plastic, but not the same as some bottles. Instead, they comprise a mixture of different plastic resins—the cases consist of polystyrene, and the discs are polycarbonate.

There isn’t much of a recycling market for these kinds of plastic, so there aren’t many options. You can, however, send your compact discs to:

(Unfortunately, due to COVID, the second option isn’t available. But you can check out their website periodically to see when they’ll reactivate their business.)

The only disadvantage of GreenDisk is that you must pay to ship your items—Technotrash pack-IT service for 25 lbs or less costs $14.95. When you send your CDs, separate them from their cases and the paper or carton inserts. 

3. Donate

If you’re not looking to make a profit and want to make someone happy, you can always donate your CDs. Consider the following options.

  • Library
  • Goodwill
  • Second-hand store
  • Charity
  • Record store
  • Used bookstore

Again, your CDs must be in working condition and look good. In some cases, they can be repaired, but make sure you don’t donate blank or burned CDs.

You can also post your items for free on the following websites.

4. Repurpose 

If you’re creative and a fan of DIY projects, this option is up your alley. You can repurpose your CDs and give them new energy with hundreds of choices to make your life shine. You could use them as:        

  • Painted artwork
  • Bird and critter repellent
  • Coasters
  • Mosaic vases or mirrors

If you don’t care for these ideas or cannot come up with your own, you can always visit such sites as Pinterest and borrow a few.

Wrap Up 

Not knowing what to do with your scattered or stack of old unwanted CDs can be aggravating. It’s essential to understand how to get rid of these without polluting the environment. Our guide has aimed to help you with the concern of what to do with your old CDs by advising you to resell, recycle, donate, or repurpose them.

FAQ.


What should I do with all my old CDs?

If you wish to keep your CDs, you can plan a DIY project and repurpose them. You can donate, resell, or recycle them if you want to unload them.

Are old CDs worth keeping?

Some CD songs didn’t make it to the streaming services, and you can listen to them only the good old-fashioned way. If that’s the case, it’s worth keeping them.

Should I throw away my CDs?

If your CDs are limited editions, they have higher collector value—so you may want to keep them. Some websites check if your old CDs are unique, including Discogs and ValueYourMusic. And, of course, If you can listen to your CD songs online, there’s no point in holding onto them.

What do you do with old CDs that you don’t want?

CDs take over a million years to decompose in landfills—so throwing them away should be your last resort. You can earn some money by reselling them. Or you could recycle, repurpose, or donate them.

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Velina Nenova

Velina Nenova

Velina describes herself as passionate media savvy and a versatile individual with numerous different interests, most a result of her Media & Communications BA. She has also developed a keen interest in Digital Marketing and Advertising. Her never-ending desire to constantly learn new things and enrich herself and her ultimate dream to go around the globe before 45 are her driving forces.

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