What is the most efficient way to deal with electronic waste like old computers, TVs, etc?

More specifically, I have some old CDs and DVDs. I don't want to just dump them. What should I do with these old CDs, DVDs, and ancient floppy disks?


If you're willing to put some effort in, then check out http://www.e-stewards.org/ to look for a third-party certified e-waste recycler.

Otherwise, Best Buy accepts many electronics and accessories for recycling, free of charge. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Global-Promotions/Recycling-Electronics/pcmcat149900050025.c?id=pcmcat149900050025

There are convenient drop boxes for things like CDs, DVDs, and their cases, rechargeable batteries, etc. in the entryway to most stores. Should be pretty quick and painless to stop by a nearby location. For larger things like televisions, you need to actually take it into the store to the customer service desk and fill out a quick form about the item and your consenting to have it recycled.

There are also organizations that accept items via the mail, such as http://www.cdrecyclingcenter.org/

Otherwise, I'd suggest selling or giving away any worthy items via eBay, Half.com, Craigslist, etc.

It's a bit of a risk though, no way to be sure the next person to use it will dispose of it responsibly...but its useful life is being extended...take your pick!


I don't know of any wide-spread recycling programs that actually melt CDs and DVDs down and reuse the materials, and, as you said putting them into the landfill is a problem. Therefore, I would look into recycling them myself into new useful tools or objects. You can do many things with them that are not only useful, but somewhat ornamental as well. I'll give some ideas and some links below to get you started.

You can make hand-spinning spindles from them and use them to learn how to hand-spin fibers, or donate them to a fiber guild for their beginner's classes. http://danielson.laurentian.ca/qualityoflife/Fulltext/Textiles/Making_a_cd_drop_spindle.htm

You can tie them to your fruit trees and shrubs with recycled twine to keep birds out of your fruit. http://organicgardening.about.com/od/fruits/a/birdsberries.htm

You can weave them together with yarn, wire or ribbon and make reflective curtains for your windows. http://www.interweavestore.com/cool-cd-curtain

They also make decent coasters. http://www.wikihow.com/Design-a-CD-Coaster

And, if you are more into the artsy side of things, this page has some pretty cool ideas! http://theverybesttop10.com/2013/03/13/uses-of-old-compact-discs/


For old computers: In some countries there are charities who accept old computers for use by charities, export to the third world, etc. Note that they usually have a limit on how old, as they must be useful to the beneficiaries.

For old TVs: In the UK at least, some charity shops take old flat screens (mostly the larger charities such as British Heart Foundation that have "furniture stores", as they have the resources to safety test electrical goods). In my experience, however, nobody will take CRTs any more.

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