Piles of old CDs got you down? Discover creative upcycling opportunities to put them to good use.
Where to recycle CD-RsCDs and CD-Rs aren’t suitable for curbside programs, but there are drop-off locations that will accept them in many areas. There are also a handful of organizations that will recycle your shiny circular storage for you. CD Recycling Center of America will recycle the disks for free (you only have to pay for shipping), and GreenDisk charges a small recycling fee, but accepts a wider range of materials. Either program is a great choice for recycling your CD-Rs.
Handy DIY projects for old CDsThere is no shortage of projects out there that do little more than marginally increase the amount of time before your CDs end up in the garbage. Make-Stuff.com, however, has a fairly comprehensive list of CD reuse ideas that are actually useful. Here are some of my favorites:
- Garden pest deterrent: Run a string through the CD hole and hang it in your yard or from trees to keep birds away from garden.
- “Scratch board”: Paint old CDs with either an acrylic or fabric paint. Then lightly draw/trace a design onto the dried surface and proceed to scratch onto the design (you can use a thick sewing needle, pencil or end of a small paintbrush). This removes the paint and leaves the shiny rainbow part exposed. Voilà, you have a unique “scratch board.”
- Mosaic: Break CDs into small pieces and use as mosaic tiles.
- Candle display: Place the CD shiny side up to sit small pillar or votive candles on. The reflection off the CD is great for centerpieces on buffet tables, especially during the holidays.
- Christmas light reflectors: Use CDs as reflectors for Christmas lights outside. C7-size bulbs fit through the opening, and then put the light string on outdoor stakes and line a sidewalk — it looks really cool when it is lightly raining. Clear bulbs work best, but opaque bulbs will do.