CDs and DVDs have become the standard
medium for distributing large quantities of high quality information
in a reliable and convenient package. They are used to hold music,
computer software, movies, and data of all kinds, for both personal
and commercial use. A DVD is very similar to a CD, but has a
much larger data capacity, holding about seven times more data than
a CD. This is why DVDs are used for the memory-intensive picture movies,
while CDs are used for music. Both use the same technology.
Because CDs and DVDs
are durable, convenient, easy to carry and store, and cheap to produce,
they are now being widely used and are replacing other types of data
storage. It is likely in the future we will have more and more of
these plastic discs, rather than fewer. And each one will sooner or
later be disposed of.
If you are using CDs for data storage, look into using DVDs instead
-- you can store more data while using less material, thereby reducing
the number of discs needed.
If you use CDs and DVDs primarily for music and movies, rent them
or purchase used CDs and DVDs. Each time the discs are reused, it
reduces the number of discs that need to be manufactured and disposed
In addition to the obvious reburning of re-writable CDs
and DVDs, you can reuse CDs and DVDs for a variety of craft projects.
They are very easy to cut into any shape with ordinary household scissors
and can be decorated with a variety of markers and paints. Here are
some simple ideas:
- Drink coasters -- Buy a
small piece of corkboard from a craft store, cut four 1 x 1 inch
squares and glue them to the printed side of the CD. Leave the shiny
side up as your coaster. You can also use the pre-gummed felt circle
table protectors instead of the cork.
- Candle holder -- Place the CD under large pillar candles
to catch the wax.
- Bird chasers -- Hang CDs in your garden. The shiny surface
moving in the breeze will scare away birds.
- Reflectors -- Use as reflectors on fenceposts, bicycles,
driveways, or anywhere you want to call attention to something in
- Garden Row Markers -- Write the name of the vegetable
with a permanent marker on the CD-ROM. Cut the edges of each into
a flower shape if you want. Glue or tack the CD-ROM to a stick and
put in the ground to mark your garden rows.
If the CD or DVD is music or a movie and you just don’t want it any
more, put it back into circulation by trading them in at a music store
that accepts used CDs, or donate them to charity.
CDs, DVDs, and their jewel cases can and are being recycled. While
they are generally not recyclable through local drop-off or curbside
programs, there are a few well-established programs that separate
and retrieve the various materials and recycle them. Cases and CD's
are pelletized, then end up as egg cartons and automotive parts.
If you are concerned about proprietary data on the discs, you can
cut them with a ordinary household scissors, or place them one at
a time in a microwave oven with a small glass of water for 5 seconds
on the "high" setting.
GreenDisk will accept
by mail (for a small fee) all forms of electronic media - including
CDs and DVDs - for recycling.
recycles for re-use and demanufactures CDs and DVDs.
Contact the following local business
to recycle CDs.
950 Orcutt Road
San Luis Obispo 541-5865
Accepts computers and monitors. Please
call before dropping off.