What do you do with your old DVDs?

In the online era, the way we are consuming media has changed. Streaming services like Spotify, Netflix and Amazon are now dominating the market. What does this mean for your collection of CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays? In this blog, we’re going to look at how to dispose of your collection.

What are your options?


Though you may have decided you want to see the back of your CDs there may well be people who still use them (I am one of those people). In the late 1980s and early 1990s people rushed to discard their record collections but now these records can be highly sought after by record collectors. You could ask your friends if there are any CDs or DVDs they may want (I am holding onto my Star Trek DVDs for dear life after the new special effects were added for example). If you’re still left with a pile you could donate them to a charity shop or you could even sell them on eBay or use a specialist site like Music Magpie, We Buy Books or Zifft. If you’re interested in selling your music collection you’ll find some deals that might interest you.


If you have decided there is no way back for your collection, then you can find hundreds of creative ways to use old discs. I’ve seen re-used CDs as coasters with felt attached to the top (handy for large mugs!), used as tiles as a roof for a dog house in the garden and as clocks amongst other uses. The reflective surface of optical discs can be used to create a shiny mosaic if cut into pieces. This could be turned into a disco ball or used as a surface for many craft projects. You’ll find some great recycling ideas here.


So, your discs are so scratched they don’t play anymore or you have a drawer full of backup discs form a long-gone computer. What do you do in this case? You may have sensitive data on your old discs. This will have to be dealt with some way. The easiest way to make sure your disc is unreadable is to cut it in half or to destroy the data side with deep scratches. This can be done using a key, knife or by buying a specialist tool like Disc Eraser. This tool will put scratches so deep the disc will be unreadable, and it creates a pentagram on the disc too! Other options include shredding or buying an eraser drive like a Plextor PlexEraser, which will make any CDR/RW or DVDR/RW unreadable in 3 minutes.


If you care about the planet then the sensible thing to do would be to recycle. The plastic construction of optical discs and cases means that virgin oil, fresh from the ground is required to make new discs. If these resources are buried in landfill they are then lost forever. When discs are recycled the plastic parts are melted down, impurities removed, and the plastic can be used again. Paper parts are baled and pulped and are used to create new recycled paper products.

I hope after you’ll read this I’ll have opened your eyes to the options available if you’ve decided to get rid of your CD and DVD collection.