What Should I do with Old CDs

CDs in shelf

Since the birth of the CD in the mid-1980s they grew in popularity due to their quality sound and easy storage; CDs remained the main music format until the early 2010s. Of course, just as all entertainment formats do, they become outdated and replaced by whatever is more readily available and convenient. As CDs are becoming replaced with digital media downloads, you may find yourself with a bunch of old CDs that are just sitting gathering dust.

Some common ways that people get rid of antiquated CDs are through selling, donating, recycling, or upcycling them. Although it may seem more convenient to throw CDs in the trash it is not recommended as it takes nearly a million years to break down, not making it an environmentally friendly option.

I think we all have at least a few stacks of old CDs sitting uselessly in our homes that we have been itching to get rid of but are just unsure of how to do it or lack the time and motivation. Well, worry no more- after reading this article you will be fully equipped with knowledge of disposing of CDs and realize it’s a lot easier than you may think.


Although CDs are not all the rage today as they were in the past, there are still people out there who still purchase and listen to them. Just like people who still listen to vinyl, those whose preferred media format is CDs swear that you get a richer, higher quality sound as well as an overall better listening experience through a CD than playing the same album through your Bluetooth speaker. There are a few different ways you can sell your quality used CDs to people like that such as pawn shops or online.

Pawn Shop

Pawn shops are a great place to get a little extra cash by selling your antiquated media and technology. Pawn shops usually pay sellers from $0.50 to $2 per CD. If you’ve ever visited a pawn shop, you are sure to have seen the towers of CDs inside and outside of their original cases waiting to be sold.

By selling your old CDs to a pawn shop, not only will you have those old things off your hands, but they now have the chance to be taken to a new home someday, hopefully to someone who will enjoy the music just as much as you did.

Vintage CD or DVD disk on white background, clipping path. Old circle discs used for data storage, share movies and music


There are several websites that offer the service of selling and buying old and unwanted items that can still be used like eBay, Craiglist, or Facebook Marketplace. Websites like these are full of people wanting to buy albums in older formats whether it be on vinyl, the tape deck, or a CD. Customers from anywhere can browse and buy quickly and easily.

There are also some websites that buy used CDs in bulk such as Decluttr, Bonavendi, and Ziffit. These websites will generally buy your whole collection and oftentimes give you a larger compensation than you would get selling them on your own.


If you cannot find any way to sell your old CDs and want to just get them out of your house, there is always the option to donate them. Many libraries, nonprofits, and thrift stores accept the donation of CDs. Just be sure to call ahead to make sure that your local library, nonprofit or thrift store is accepting that kind of donation.

While thrift stores will turn around and sell the CDs for profit, libraries and nonprofits will allow them to be taken or used for free. This gives countless people, who might not have otherwise had the opportunity, the ability to listen to and love music you once listened to and loved.


If you are looking to dispose of your old CDs in an environmentally friendly way and even give them a second life, you can recycle them. Fortunately, there are several facilities that will take those discs off your hands. However, because CDs are made of various materials such as polycarbonate plastic, aluminum, and lacquer, you will need to look online for a recycling center that can accept and process CDs.

Another aspect to consider when recycling your old CDs is that you will oftentimes have to separate the CD from its case, and then the liner note from the case since they are all made out of different materials.

CD copmact discs in a pile shiny background


If you have a little more time on your hands, you may want to consider upcycling or repurposing CDs you do not use anymore. They are most frequently turned into art or crafting projects, but can also be turned into useful tools.

For example, growing up, my aunt and uncle always had CDs hanging in their garden. They used these instead of a scarecrow or stuffed owl to deter birds and other pests from eating all the vegetables that they were growing. I even remember walking through my aunt and uncle’s garden and seeing the rows of plants marked ‘tomatoes’ ‘zucchini’ and ‘squash’ with CDs glued onto small sticks. Although they were eclectic they had some good ideas for reusing CDs.

Some other ways you can upcycle old CDs are by using them as coasters or ice scrapers. They can be made into wind chimes, driveway reflectors, and other useful objects.

Now let’s talk about different ways you can use CDs in your art projects. Some of the most common ways to use CDs in art is by breaking them up into smaller pieces. When you do this, you are left with shiny, geometric shards that can add a bit of shine to any art piece. You can add these pieces to a mirror frame, a planter pot, or a table.

While CDs can also be used in art around your home. CDs can make a fun accent on your wall or fridge, not only adding an interesting art aspect to the room but at the same time showing off your music taste to everyone that stops by for a visit.

Related Topics:

If you like the article above, here are some other similar articles you should check out!

What Should I Do with Old VHS Tapes

What Should I Do with Old Keys

What Should I Do with Old Gasoline

Recent Posts