CDs and DVDs are non-biodegradable and contain toxic chemicals and metals that can contaminate the environment if landfilled. Instead, CDs and DVDs can be repaired or recycled through specialised services to recover resources. Note: recyclers will likely only accept commercial quantities and not small amounts from households.
CDs & DVDs
CDs & DVDs includes:Blu-ray Discs CD-Rom Discs
Find a recycler
All types and formats of CDs and DVDs can be recycled, enabling the recovery of valuable resources such as polycarbonate (a type of plastic) and aluminium for reuse in the manufacture of other products. Disc recycling processes can recover about 98% of the original disc as reusable material. Many damaged CDs and DVDs can also be reconditioned, allowing them to be reused or resold.
A number of companies in Australia offer recycling services or repair services for CDs and DVDs, however, most will likely only accept commercial quantities and will not accept small amounts from households.
What Happens When It's Recycled?
Repair: To repair CDs or DVDs, the underside of the disc is polished to remove small scratches and marks that can cause discs not to play.
Recycling: During the recycling process, the metallic coating is removed and the plastic is granulated then recycled. Plastic CD and DVD cases are recycled along with other plastics of the same type. Any paper inserts are given to paper recyclers for processing. The recovered plastics and metals are used in Australia for manufacturing a wide variety of plastic products and metal parts.
More Info & Sources
How to Reduce and Recycle Plastics at Work – use our free guide to keep plastics in use and out of landfill