DVDs and DVD cases are recyclable, but if you have a working DVD, it is better to donate or sell it so that others can enjoy the content without needing to make a new DVD. The DVD recycling process is specialized, requiring separating the layers that make up the discs to recover polycarbonate plastic and metals. These materials, which can harm the environment as they degrade, are repurposed for manufacturing new products such as mobile phone screens, computer components, and water bottles.
Community recycling programs are starting to accept DVDs and cases, often in partnership with specialized recycling companies. Many retailers, including bookstores, thrift stores, and video stores, will purchase DVDs for resale. Alternatively, you can offer them to others through eBay, Craigslist, or Buy Nothing groups. In addition to recycling, reaching out to local libraries, schools, or community centers can be fruitful. These institutions sometimes collect DVDs for educational use or fundraising sales, ensuring the discs get a second life.
DIY enthusiasts have also published creative ways to reuse DVDs and cases at home. From crafting unique art pieces to using DVD cases for organizing small items, these ideas give new life to what would otherwise become waste.
DVDs & DVD Cases Are Made Of Polycarbonate and Polypropylene
DVDs are made of polycarbonate, an impact-resistant glass-like #7 plastic that is recyclable. Curbside recycling programs do not accept polycarbonate; you must drop it off at a transfer station or collection box, and it can mailed to some national programs. Add your ZIP Code to search Earth911 for local and mail-in options.
If allowed to break down in the environment, polycarbonates may release bisphenol A (BPA) into groundwater and soil. BPA is known to interfere with reproductive processes in animals and “has been linked with cardiovascular disease and diabetes in humans,” according to Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Keeping DVDs and CDs, which are also made of polycarbonate, out of landfills is good for people and nature.
The cases are made of polypropylene, or #5 rigid plastics, which is widely accepted by recycling programs and generally considered safe for humans and the environment because it does not leach chemicals as it degrades. However, not all recycling programs possess the equipment to process DVD cases, so call before you drop them in your curbside bin or at a local transfer station.
Mail-In & Drop-Off DVD Recyclers & Reuse Programs
In recent years, as DVD recycling become more common, many mail-in programs have stopped accepting discs. If you’d like to recycle or sell your old movies, check the following to see current shipping costs, buy-back price lists, and donation options:
- Eagle Saver
- Half Price Books
- Value Village
Repurposing DVDs and DVD Cases at Home
The possibilities for repurposing DVDs and cases are limited only by your imagination. DVDs can be transformed into decorative mosaics, wall art, organizers, or coasters. DVD cases also make excellent storage solutions for small crafting supplies or can be converted into picture frames. These DIY projects prevent waste and add a personal touch to your home décor while being kind to the planet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can DVDs and their cases be recycled together?
Yes. While DVDs and their cases are made from different types of plastic, many recycling centers are equipped to handle both. However, it’s always a good idea to check with your local recycling facility, as practices vary.
How can I find a local DVD recycling facility?
You can start with a simple online search to find a local DVD recycling facility. Search on Earth911.com using your ZIP Code to see local recycling centers. Or, contact your local waste management authority or environmental groups for more ideas and options.
How can schools and businesses contribute to DVD recycling?
Schools and businesses can contribute significantly to DVD recycling by setting up collection programs. They can partner with local recycling facilities or participate in manufacturer take-back programs. Educating students and employees about recycling these items can also make a big difference.