×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Can CDs Be Recycled?

Cliff posted about 7 years ago | from the better-than-a-landfill dept.

Data Storage 136

An anonymous reader asks: "I was recently doing a closet-cleaning and came across literally hundreds of old software CDs that are no longer usable — both manufactured CDs and CD-Rs. Note that by 'not usable', I mean that many of them simply couldn't be read anymore, possibly due to the fact that they'd been stored rather ineptly (no, I wasn't responsible for how they were stored). It seems wrong to just throw them out, but are there other things that can be done with them that will allow their raw materials to be reused in some way?Is it possible to reclaim CDs for raw materials?"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

136 comments

They make great coasters (2, Funny)

QuantumG (50515) | about 7 years ago | (#18700775)

and if you're drunk, try goin' at one with a metal file and making ninja stars.

NINJA STAR CDs (4, Funny)

rustalot42684 (1055008) | about 7 years ago | (#18700817)

It would be cool if thinkgeek or someone made cds that were 120mm wide, but they only used the 1st 80mm, like mini cds, and they had 20mm ninja star spikes or something. That may you could store your top secret ninja plans and kill pirates at the SAME TIME!

Re:NINJA STAR CDs (4, Funny)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | about 7 years ago | (#18700975)

It would be cool if thinkgeek or someone made cds that were 120mm wide, but they only used the 1st 80mm, like mini cds, and they had 20mm ninja star spikes or something. That may you could store your top secret ninja plans and kill pirates at the SAME TIME!

Yeah, just don't use them in a 52x CD reader or the CD will fracture and the spikes will fly off and take off everybody's kneecaps.


...unless that was the plan all along. Touché /.ninja, touché.

Re:NINJA STAR CDs (3, Funny)

east coast (590680) | about 7 years ago | (#18701193)

Yeah, just don't use them in a 52x CD reader or the CD will fracture and the spikes will fly off and take off everybody's kneecaps.

Would you consider that "defective by design" or a hidden "feature" of the disc?

I would think it very useful in the right situation. Is anyone filming a new James Bomd film?

well-balanced throwing star (1)

davidwr (791652) | about 7 years ago | (#18701799)

A throwing-star-shaped CD shouldn't be a problem in a high-speed drive if it is perfectly balanced.

Re:well-balanced throwing star (2, Funny)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | about 7 years ago | (#18702623)

Depends on the type of throwing star I guess. I immediately envisaged a six-pointed hira shuriken [wikipedia.org] where the thin "necks" would be highly vulnerable. I guess with four-points it probably wouldn't be an issue.

Oh God am I really having a serious conversation about the structural integrity of throwing-star shaped CDs?

Re:NINJA STAR CDs (1)

miyako (632510) | about 7 years ago | (#18705143)

That reminds me of some old soundtracks for SNES games that were sold as CDs that were shaped as characters from the games. The one that specifically sticks out in my mind is the Yoshi's Island soundtrack, with a CD shaped like Yoshi. I never actually owned any of them, but I definitely recall seeing them in the catalogs that used to come quarterly with Nintendo Power.

Re:They make great coasters (2, Interesting)

RabidJackal (893308) | about 7 years ago | (#18700835)

I forget the link, but I remember some guy began making carvings out of his CDs into the shape of animals and objects.

On a side note, I find the best ninja stars are made from CD-Rs. the commercial ones usually have an ink layer that flakes off everywhere and just looks untidy when its done.

Re:They make great coasters (1)

segin (883667) | about 7 years ago | (#18700915)

and if you're drunk, try goin' at one with a metal file and making ninja stars.
Does that mean I can kill people all ninja-like using throwing starts fashioned out of used CDs?

Re:They make great coasters (3, Informative)

j00r0m4nc3r (959816) | about 7 years ago | (#18700933)

They actually make terrible coasters, because without a material on them to absorb water, or a lip around the edge to trap it, water just rolls off onto the table.

Re:They make great coasters (1)

QuantumG (50515) | about 7 years ago | (#18700997)

I use ink jet printable CDs and DVDs.. they have a nice white water absorbing layer on top. Just don't snap the DVDs..

Re:They make great coasters (1)

tsa (15680) | about 7 years ago | (#18701703)

I always use them as coasters, but I use dry glasses, that only get condensed water on them. I can imagine that they don't perform well with glasses that are wet to begin with (glasses of beer from the tap for example).

Re:They make great coasters (3, Informative)

steveo777 (183629) | about 7 years ago | (#18702871)

I've used them to hold big candles. They reflect the light and make some pretty cool looking candelabras when you use a bunch of different colored CD's at varying heights.

On the other hand they don't tend to stop the wax from flowing all over the place.

Yes! (4, Funny)

rlp (11898) | about 7 years ago | (#18700785)

But only if they're RW.

Re:Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18705193)

I can recycle even the non-RW CDs! I'm slowly building a new planet cleverly covering [crweng.com] the old one. Don't worry, it is an open source project. You are welcome to contribute to the project and stand on the new planet when it is finished. I've enlisted fleets of trucks [roydoty.com] to assist in completing this important project. Pitch in today! [funny-games.biz]

Same situation here (1)

failedlogic (627314) | about 7 years ago | (#18700805)

Only thing I've thought to do with the CDs is to use them as coffee coasters. There's only so many coasters a person can have. Since I don't drink much coffee they double up for beer too.

The ones with sensitive data (financial) or work I shred into a shredder. I at least am aware some I might not want to give away or trash so its too easily recovered.

Isn't the problem that the metal and polycarbon layers in the CD would be hard to separate to recycle? If CDs are "bad for the environment/recycling", is there a better alternative for backups like backup tapes (DDS, etc)?

Dunno about the US. (4, Informative)

Ihlosi (895663) | about 7 years ago | (#18700813)

Here in Europe, CDs are collected for recycling.

Dunno about Europe. (2, Informative)

KlaymenDK (713149) | about 7 years ago | (#18700911)

Here in Denmark, they're not.

It annoys me so much that in a little flat country such as Denmark we can't figure out how to sort our waste, especially when the tiniest mountain villages in Austria do it. >_< Ok, rant over.

Re:Dunno about Europe. (3, Interesting)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 7 years ago | (#18701263)

I bring them to the recycling centre like almost every other plastic I collect. Nobody ever complained. I'll look if they have a separate container for it next time I go there. There are employees that do the sorting for us. (I like going there, especially for dumpster diving in the electronics container. Nuggets I found there are a P-IV 1.9GHz and an AMD Athlon 1.2GHz... both in working order. I don't even bother taking P-III class machines anymore... *grin*)

I don't live in Denmark though...

Re:Dunno about Europe. (2, Interesting)

KlaymenDK (713149) | about 7 years ago | (#18701987)

Last time I went to the recycling centre with some cases of floppies and cds, the went directly into the "small combustibles" dumpster ... so not exactly recycled.

The folks down there throw tantrums if you're caught dumpster diving, which is sad because I think direct re-use is better than eventual recycling, no? I did manage to salvage a couple of Nixies from some weird old scientific instrument, though.

Re:Dunno about Europe. (2, Interesting)

Corporate Troll (537873) | about 7 years ago | (#18702359)

I'll take a closer look at what they do with the CDs next time that I'm there. Promised. Still, if one googles fro CD Recycling, it seems to exist.

Oh, they weren't happy to find out when I got caught dumpster diving. Now, I just look around if there are any employees around. I don't understand it either: re-use should be better.

Re:Dunno about Europe. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18703295)

I bet those employees were planning on a little ebay 're-use' themselves. Your dumpster-diving is probably putting a dent in their profits, that's why they complain.

Re:Dunno about Europe. (4, Funny)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | about 7 years ago | (#18701709)

It annoys me so much that in a little flat country such as Denmark we can't figure out how to sort our waste
Maybe you could drop it in the sea, or pile it all up somewhere into a kind of artificial hill? Then at least your country would be a little less little and a little less flat.

Re:Dunno about Europe. (3, Interesting)

ProppaT (557551) | about 7 years ago | (#18704619)

There really is no such thing as cd recycling. The metal in the foil is considered toxic, and there's no real way to reuse the plastic because of the foil inside, so they're more than likely just disintegrated...unless there's some way to reuse the dust if it's pulverized (which I really doubt).

Re:Dunno about Europe. (1)

horatio (127595) | about 7 years ago | (#18705559)

The metal in the foil is considered toxic

A bit OT, but I called poison control (and then the "animal" poison control...) a few months ago after my dog ate most of a CD-R, thinking the same thing. They assured me there was nothing toxic, despite my insistence that while I don't understand much physics/chemistry, I was under the impression that the recordable layer is some type of organic dye.

I looked on the web at the time and wasn't able to find anything that seemed consistent about the makeup of the metal layers, so what is in those things? Alumnium, nickel, ?

Re:Dunno about Europe. (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 7 years ago | (#18705123)

"It annoys me so much that in a little flat country such as Denmark we can't figure out how to sort our waste..."

You lost me here.....sort waste (trash)? You don't just throw it in the garbage can, and once or twice a week, the garbagemen drive by the front of your house and empty your can and haul it all away?

Re:Dunno about Europe. (2, Informative)

KlaymenDK (713149) | about 7 years ago | (#18706555)

"It annoys me so much that in a little flat country such as Denmark we can't figure out how to sort our waste..."


You lost me here.....sort waste (trash)? You don't just throw it in the garbage can, and once or twice a week, the garbagemen drive by the front of your house and empty your can and haul it all away?

Perhaps I should have written garbage, yes.

Here, everything goes into the same (under-the-sink) trash can, then into a single-compartment garbage truck, to one garbage heap. It pains me everytime I have to throw away perfectly good alumim(i)um foil. As it is, trying to roll a ton of it into a big ball for recycling would only serve to make me (a) $.02 richer, and (b) a laughing-stock.

OTOH, in Austria (or at least several parts of it) you are supposed to sort your garbage into separate trash cans for organic, plastic and metal parts. Therefore, if you buy sliced ham at the butcher's, the coated paper that it comes wrapped in can easily be taken apart for separate disposal. Very nice.

Oh well ...

Re:Dunno about the US. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 7 years ago | (#18701695)

Here in Europe, CDs are collected for recycling.
Intact or destroyed? I wouldn't put an intact data CD or DVD in a recycling or trash bin lest it be extracted and read by unknown or unfriendly outside parties.

Re:Dunno about the US. (1)

maxume (22995) | about 7 years ago | (#18702161)

I have marginally sensitive personal data on some small fraction of my cds. I applaud you for storing intensely personal data on even the cds that Aol sends you in the mail. No small trick, I'm sure.

Re:Dunno about the US. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 7 years ago | (#18705947)

I haven't received an AOL CD in the mail for over a year. I'm not sure how I managed that.

I could have personal pictures on CDs, or scans of tax forms, or even just documents that I don't want associated with my identity but maybe just one file might identify me. They could be backups of source code I've written that I wouldn't want people to get their hands on, but I'm replacing them with new copies periodically to avoid CD rot and need to securely destroy them. Maybe the RIAA thinks I'm illegally redistributing my music CD backups to unknown third parties by putting them in publicly accessible recycle bins just as if I had mistakenly marked the directory I store them in as shared to the world, or software companies accusing me of illegally transferring single-use licenses.

And when you're under a government that deems it necessary to know who everyone calls on the phone and not only retains that information but demands everyone retain even more information for them to mine at will for years... well, there's reason to ensure you never voluntarily leaking any information whatsoever that could be used against you by any administration, current or future.

Yes (5, Informative)

gagravarr (148765) | about 7 years ago | (#18700815)

Yes, you can recycle your cds. There's a list of places that offer cd recycling on recyclenow - http://www.recyclenow.com/what_more_can_i_do/can_i t_be_recycled/compact_discs.html [recyclenow.com]

Re:Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18706311)

Great! Three of the 4 links on that page point to the UK. Let's send them all to the UK! Hmmm...They can be used to reflect the sun into all those cameras.

Microwave (4, Informative)

tscheez (71929) | about 7 years ago | (#18700867)

While this is not a way to recycle CD's, it is fun and will destroy the data on it permanently. Put one data side up in the microwave and run it for 2-4 seconds on high and watch the light show. (I wouldn't suggest doing this in a microwave you like, it *seems* to do no damage to the microwave but I can't be sure)

Re:Microwave (3, Informative)

tsa (15680) | about 7 years ago | (#18701767)

It sure makes your home stink like a hellhole. We tried toasting CD's in this way in the research group's kitchen once. The experiment worked out beautifully but you could still smell it a week later.

DON'T BREATHE THE VAPORS!!!! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18701985)

A few years back I had an "unwise microwave oven experiments" party. Large, powerful old microwave that was headed for the dumpster and a keg of beer, everybody brings something to microwave.

The laptop backlight and 10" fluorescent tube were... bright. Like, searchlight bright. And strangely enough some of the most interesting effects were done with food, like split grapes and an unopened bag of marshmallows. We never achieved a stable plasma (we made some that lasted a few seconds, though) mostly because of the diffculty in controlling air currents.

Anyway, we fried a lot of CDs, because they look tres cool in the microwave. My buddy Pete and I each got a slight whiff of the vapor produced by this (we were outside at the time) and it was a week or so before we stopped feeling the effects.

Re:DON'T BREATHE THE VAPORS!!!! (1)

smbarbour (893880) | about 7 years ago | (#18704869)

If you start with a stable plasma, you'll have better luck. Try a lit candle next time.

Future archeology (2, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 7 years ago | (#18700901)

Maybe the CDs are unreadable now, but who knows in the future. Future archaeologists may one day discover the thick fossilized layer of AOL trial CDs that we have deposited and somehow be able extract the data, or even use them to fuel their flying cars.

You might want to ask AOHell (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 7 years ago | (#18700935)

Since our lawmakers are contemplating a law which makes it mandatory to take back your leaflets and flyers and whatever other RL-Spam you cram into the mailbox of unsuspecting and innocent victims, AOL might have some R&D guys on this.

If they just stop sending me free coasters, I wouldn't mind either. The amount they sent during those last 10 years is enough for the next few decades.

Re:You might want to ask AOHell (1)

LighterShadeOfBlack (1011407) | about 7 years ago | (#18701033)

Do AOL still do that somewhere?

6-7 years ago I used to get dozens of ISP CDs from companies every week, especially AOL and CompuServe. I haven't had any in the last 3-4 years. Maybe it's because of recycling laws here in the UK. In which case you could soon be living a life free of AOL CDs soon too.

Re:You might want to ask AOHell (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 7 years ago | (#18701037)

It was the end of an AOL recycling era when their software outgrew floppies. I will always love AOL for being an unending source of free, reformattable discs in the 1990s. Every so often I'd call them up acting like a computer repair shop and request a few boxes of DOS, Mac, and Windows kits, and hey presto, another massive stack of free floppies for whatever. They used good quality discs, I guess in order to survive being smacked around by mail carriers.

The golden age of useful recyclable spam.. *sigh* ..now git off my lawn!

Re:You might want to ask AOHell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18703159)

Damn AOL for not using CD-RWs to distribute their software!

Re-burn them...sorta (1)

VanessaE (970834) | about 7 years ago | (#18701049)

I can't remember the company or the project name, but back in the late 90's (?) there was a standalone drive that you could hook to your computer or another audio device, that would let you record something new over the original content of a commercial CD. The commercial depicted a teenager anxiously popping a new CD into his portable player in anticipation of some new band he'd heard about, only to be thoroughly disappointed by their music.


How it worked or whether it was a hoax is anyone's guess. Google doesn't seem to have anything relating to it, either.

Re:Re-burn them...sorta (1)

Mad Merlin (837387) | about 7 years ago | (#18701631)

I vaguely remember something like this as well. Of course, I never actually saw one or it's results in person, though.

I'm tempted to say it was just a hoax.

Re:Re-burn them...sorta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18702649)

There was a genuine product that sort-of allowed you to do this. It didn't actually write anything to the disc itself: It sat on top of the CD device driver, and allowed you to write to the mounted volume, new files or editing/overwriting/deleting stuff on the disc, but your writes were actually stored on your hard disc, and each time the same CD was inserted, it would recognise it, and apply the edits to the mounted volume.

So it wasn't a way to re-use CDs. What it was good at was allowing you to apply a patch to CD-based software without having to burn a new disc.

Don't know if it's still available... not many programs these days stay on the CD; you have to install everything to your hard drive anyway, so there's probably not much call for this program.

Cheat or hoax, you can *not* write to normal CDs (2, Interesting)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 7 years ago | (#18705687)

How it worked or whether it was a hoax is anyone's guess.
If this was real, then I'm going with what one other user suggested; it wrote updates to the hard disk (or some other reusable medium). I saw software like this for the Amiga. And although it's a useful idea in the context of its time, it's misleading to suggest that this is actually writing to the CD itself.

If that wasn't the case, I'm pretty sure it's a hoax. Why? Because commercial CDs aren't like CD-R/RW; the latter have crystalline layers that respond to heating changes from the laser to form reflective/non-reflective areas, the former are actually *stamped* with 3D pits and lands.

Both reflect/deflect the reading laser beam in the same way (in most players), so the discs can be read in the same machines. However, there's no way you're going to *change* the contents of a stamped CD in anything like the same manner as you would with a CD-R. It's about as likely as a floppy disk drive's magnetic head being able to rewrite the grooves of a 7" vinyl single.

In fact, you'd actually have to (somehow) melt or reconfigure the plastic of the CD itself, and since it was never designed for this, I've no idea how you'd do it accurately. It would likely be a horrifically expensive (and pointless) lab curiosity at best, and no-one in their right mind would try to market it in the face of CD-R.

Hoax, hoax, hoaxy hoax....

reclaim or replace the product/license (2, Interesting)

mqx (792882) | about 7 years ago | (#18701059)

Depending upon what CD it is, and who the manufacturer is, you may be able to reclaim the license or a replacement CD. For example, you can do this with PowerDVD if you lose the license or the CD is damaged. Even if the software is not worth anything to you, it may be to someone else. If any of the CDs are for software of some original/current value, it may be worth taking the time to look into this. You could sell them on eBay for an earner.

Artwork (2, Informative)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 7 years ago | (#18701073)

Shiny but useless CDs can be very useful for artists who need sparklies. Try sticking them up on your local Freecycle or Craigslist as a freebie, someone out there may be willing to take them off your hands.

Re:Artwork (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18702235)

Good idea, but it should be noted that you want to make really sure any CDs which held sensitive data are REALLY a lost cause before handing them off to a stranger.

yes (1)

yada21 (1042762) | about 7 years ago | (#18701105)

I use them as coasters. Some say they make good bird-scarers for the garden, but I don't have a garden so I don't know if it's correct.

I recycle mine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18701133)

I use them as flying targets with my shotgun.

Here's a few (4, Interesting)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 7 years ago | (#18701201)

1. You can make mobiles for a baby - nice interesting colours one side, shiny reflections the other. Get half a dozen hanging up on a coathanger arrangement and you have one happy baby.
2. Cover your walls in them. Either side will do. Good for students but abit sad for anyone else. Great for the 1960's Sci-Fi retro look though.
3. Put them at the bottom of a fish pond. Nice reflections in the sun. Probably annoys the hell out the fish though.
(Somewhat more 'out there' ones)
4. Put them on your hub caps for extra bling.
5. Dazzle muggers
6. That trick with microwave ovens.
7. balance furniture on uneven floors.

Re:Here's a few (1)

ak3ldama (554026) | about 7 years ago | (#18702125)

4. Put them on your hub caps for extra bling.
Wow ... just, wow. A whole new meaning for spinners.
6. That trick with microwave ovens.
That is an awesome suggestion. Except I did that while in high school one night in the industrial microwave at McDonalds and melted the plastic the cd sat upon within a second. One of those, 'I hope no one else notices' moments. The smell of the burnt plastic lingered for a while too.

Re:Here's a few (2, Interesting)

Detritus (11846) | about 7 years ago | (#18702501)

The trick is to put a small glass of water in with the CD. That makes the magnetron happy. Put the CD on top of the glass.

Re:Here's a few (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18703435)

Just don't use a glass you like.

Re:Here's a few (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | about 7 years ago | (#18702135)

8. Signaling rescue planes with reflected sunlight. You can even use the spindle hole to sight the aircraft.

Re:Here's a few (1)

antdude (79039) | about 7 years ago | (#18703111)

Is it really safe to put in fish tanks? I thought CDs have chemicals like those dyes.

Re:Here's a few (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 7 years ago | (#18703335)

No idea - if they are toxic I guess that means the fish will be annoyed on several levels.
Goldfish 1: I'm dazzled! Oh, the water tastes funny. Hi Goldfish 2
Goldfish 2: Hi - hey, what's that bright thing?
Goldfish 1: I'm dazzled! Oh, the water tastes funny. Hi Goldfish 2
Goldfish 2: Hi - hey, what's that bright thing?
Goldfish 1: I'm dazzled! Oh, the water tastes funny. Hi Goldfish 2
Goldfish 2: Hi - hey, what's that bright thing?
Goldfish 1: I'm dazzled! Oh, the water tastes funny. Hi Goldfish 2
Goldfish 2: Hi - hey, what's that bright thing?
etc.

Re:Here's a few (1)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 7 years ago | (#18703377)

I did this with an old MS-BOB CD I got at a TechNet conference:
http://www.kidsdomain.com/craft/clock3.html [kidsdomain.com]

The horn-rimmed glasses on the yellow smiley face looks great as a clock.....or you can decorate it yourself with acrylic paint.... To top it off, I had a dual-CD case (the ones that would fold out flat, not the ones that resembled a book) and it makes a great clock stand.

Layne

Off-topic, but who knew that MS-BOB was ahead of his time fashion wise...he and HRG from Heros would make a great duo.

polycarbonate -- unfortunately not (3, Informative)

redelm (54142) | about 7 years ago | (#18701223)

CDs are made of polycarbonate resin, Recycling Class (7) that finds little use. See [americanchemistry.com]and here [plasticsresource.com].

If you are bold... (1)

JanCold (1034482) | about 7 years ago | (#18701265)

You cold use it as a hat in costume parties stays on without any glue. My collegue did that in one party and of course won the main prize with it :D

Re:If you are bold... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18706249)

A hat? Where did he put it on?

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18701383)

My wife just got into mosaicing. I wonder how cleanly her tools will cut them. She could do some neat stuff with them.

more ways to recycle (1)

turing_m (1030530) | about 7 years ago | (#18701595)

You could burn them, and let plants photosynthesize the carbon into wood. The hydrogen combines with oxygen to make water.

You could even use the energy to propel you forward.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Green-Transportatio n/1980-05-01/Ajax-The-Woodburning-Steam-Powered-Tr uck.aspx [motherearthnews.com]

Yeah, it's as niche as using cooking oil from restaurants, but it might work. And there is always the nice living to be made from saving those interesting things people forget they ever stored on those CDs from seeing the light of day.

Re:more ways to recycle (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | about 7 years ago | (#18702295)

The cooking-oil-powered vehicles kick out exhaust that, at worst, smells a bit like french fries. The smoke from burning wood is mostly harmless if vented properly, and may trigger nostalgic memories of Winter holidays by granddad's old fireplace. The fumes from burning plastics are quite a different, and much more toxic, issue.

We use the Technotrash can by GreenDisk (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18701627)

We generate a LOT of CD and tech waste where I work, so we looked into this. Turns out there is a company that recycles all that sort of junk called GreenDisk, so I get a technotrash can every 3 months or so. Basically you pay $40 for a box that they send you, you load it up with up to 70 pounds of tech-junk, and then you send it back via USPS. They pay shipping on the way back (but I think you really pay it up front when you give them the $40 :-P).

http://www.greendisk.com/ [greendisk.com]

Two words: Art Car! (1)

Mr. Droopy Drawers (215436) | about 7 years ago | (#18701699)

First thing that came to mind was attaching them to your car [artcars.com]!



In Houston, I saw the Art Car Parade and someone shaped the CD's into the shape of fish scales. Gonna have to look for those photos.

Clocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#18702831)

I've seen people using them to make clock faces -- just attach a cheap clock mechanism to the back, and a set of hands to the front, and voila. You don't even need to drill a hole in the middle.

Very cheap and tacky, but from the number of them I've seen for sale in flea markets, people must obviously buy them, so what have you got to lose? (apart from your dignity and whatever it costs to buy those cheap clock mechanisms)

Space Mirror (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 7 years ago | (#18703299)

Let's make a huge space mirror from all the old unused CDs on earth. Or maybe make that space elevator by stacking them. Or keep them as ammo to throw at alien flying saucers. You knew that you can only fight flying discs with other flying discs, right?

In most cases... (2, Informative)

Amerist (183586) | about 7 years ago | (#18703689)

Yes.

Electronic waste is a huge part of our community in the United States and as a result a lot of recycling centers and other facilities have cropped up to try to handle it. Since I work for them, the first place I'd check to locate a facility near me is EARTH911, there is even a computer recycling section being floated right now: Computer Components Recycling [earth911.org].

In many cases they will be reuse and donation centers, or something like ACT [earth911.org]; in the end anything that gives these items a longer lifespan in the community or puts them to different use than ending up in a landfill is a step in good direction.

Use them to scare birds (1)

bcmm (768152) | about 7 years ago | (#18704133)

I have seen and heard of several people using old/AOL CDs to scare birds away from various vegetable gardens and allotments. You hang CDs from a tree/fence/whatever (or along a string between to stakes) by a thread through the centre, and the constantly moving rainbow patterns as the CDs spin in the wind confuse and scare birds. They reportedly work much better than scarecrows (most types of bird soon work out that scarecrows can't really move and just get used to them).

How well would they hold up in the outdoors? (1)

WillAdams (45638) | about 7 years ago | (#18704165)

I've always wondered if one could use them as a roofing material (though fashioning a fastener for the rather large central hole would be a pain)

A quick search on Google leads one to this page though:

http://www.obviously.com/recycle/guides/hard.html [obviously.com]

where it has some information and lists two addresses which will take them to recycle (and CD-Rs has ~20mg of gold --- who knew?)

William

Re:How well would they hold up in the outdoors? (1)

ADRA (37398) | about 7 years ago | (#18704703)

I don't know if new discs use gold, but the old ones did. Basically, the gold is what the laser was manipulating in order to make pits. Since gold is so mailable, i imagine that was the design reasoning for choosing it.

Every geek in the US needs one of these around... (3, Informative)

Optic7 (688717) | about 7 years ago | (#18704791)

The Technotrash can by Greendisk. [greendisk.com]

It's a box for any electronic trash that has all the recycling and shipping fees included in its purchase price. Total price is $30 for a 35lbs capacity box, or $40 for a 70lbs capacity one. Or you can get bundles and give them away as gifts to everyone. You can throw anything from CDs to videotapes to laptops to cell phones in there. When it's full, you close it up and ship it (for "free").

Re:Every geek in the US needs one of these around. (1)

deadstatue (1004528) | about 7 years ago | (#18705453)

stack them all together,drop a flourescent tube in the hole,got yourself a piece of art thats ready for its MoMA debut
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...