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CDs, DVDs and Blue Rays

CDs, DVDs and Blue Rays

Separate your CDs and DVDs from their cases. CD and DVD cases can go into your recycle bin, but CDs, DVDs and VCR tapes cannot.

The discs do not actually break down at all (ever) and contain hazardous polycarbonates, polypropylene and aluminium, silver or gold. 

You can take your old CDs, DVDs and Blue Rays to your local op shop where they will have a second life.

The best way to manage CD and DVD recycling is to not buy them in the first place. There really are very few reasons left to own them.  Download movies and songs, rent DVDs if you can’t download.

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Science Notes
CDs are made of polycarbonate plastic, usually with a thin coating of aluminium on CDs or silver on CD-Rs which is used to write and read the disc.

Gold is sometimes used in place of aluminium because it is non corrosive and gives a higher quality, longer life CDs. There is also a thin layer of lacquer which is spin coated onto the aluminium to protect it. Sometimes a label is also printed onto the lacquer.

Recyclers separate the plastic components from the metal using a process called friction washing. After that, the polycarbonates, polypropylene and aluminium are recovered. The recycled plastics are then made into products that require hard plastics like sunglass frames. 

Related Tip
If you do have to buy CDs or DVDs, turn them into coasters, clocks, and other creative artwork when you are done with them!