How to Recycle DVDs and DVD Cases

DVDs are a bit of a challenge to recycle. Not only are they made from polycarbonate plastic which is produced from crude oil, but places where you can recycle them are few and far between. DVD cases are a little easier to get rid of in an environmentally friendly way.

Can DVDs and DVD cases be recycled?

Let’s talk about the DVDs themselves first of all. The problem with these is that most recycling centers won’t accept them. Or if they do, they end up going in the big skip destined for landfill. However, due to everyone becoming more environmentally aware there are now some volunteer organisations being set up who will accept and recycle DVDs and CDs. One such one can be found at If you decide to send your DVDs and CDs to them and are worried that they may contain confidential information it is advisable to shred them first.

There are other ways to recycle DVDs, the easiest and most efficient is to either donate or sell them on to others who may have a use for them.

DVD cases are a far easier problem to deal with. Not only do most recycling centers accept them, you may well find that other people can put them to good use. Some people want them for storage; others will use them for various art creations and other projects. You can advertise them on FreeCycle and will probably be inundated with offers to take them off your hands.

If you want to take them to a recycling center but are unsure of where to go, just visit and type in your zip code for the nearest center to you.

What are the possibilities for the recycled DVD and DVD cases?

There are a huge number of ways that old, unusable DVDs can be put to use. Some people use them as reflectors, others in art projects or decorations. It’s common for a whole bunch of them to be threaded onto wire or string and used as a kind of scarecrow in the garden. You can probably think of a load more ideas if you put your mind to it.

You may find that local libraries and schools will be happy to take the DVD cases off your hands, along with any suitable and working DVDs.

But what about the resources used in the DVD recycling process?

If you pass your DVDs and cases onto other users, there are no other resources used in recycling. If DVDs go into the trash then they will end up in landfill, which is not what any of us should be aiming for. DVDs do not break down and will still remain in a few hundred years from now, and there’s also a danger that they can leech toxic substances into the surrounding soil as well.