What else can be done with old CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray discs?

Have you noticed the layer of dust on your CD, DVD or Blu-ray collection? Streaming music and video have replaced the old discs. But what do you do with them now?

When moving house, old CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays are placed in a cardboard box, which then lives unpacked in the storeroom of the new apartment. Because if you think about it, the possibilities to play the silver discs became less and less over time. The PC hasn’t had a CD/DVD drive for a long time, and neither has the notebook. The bulky stereo system has given way to a crisply loud and compact Bluetooth speaker. Nobody needs a CD/DVD burner anymore either, and even the Blu-ray player hasn’t been used for a long time since people subscribed to Netflix. So where to put the old discs?

Create music or movie library on hard drive

For nostalgics, of course, the question does not arise. They dust off their music or movie collection and always have a special place reserved for it in their home. But even they should know that data media are not made to last forever. CDs and DVDs last around 30 years, Blu-rays 50 years. The lifespan of self-burned blanks, on the other hand, is much shorter. So there’s no harm in creating a digital archive on a hard drive, for example.

For private use, copying CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays is permitted if the data medium is not copy-protected. This falls under private copying in copyright law. If you crack an existing copy protection, you are liable to prosecution. Of course, this also applies if you pass on the copies or even trade in them.

To copy CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays, you can find numerous tools on the Internet, including free ones. To bring order to the digitized music or movie collection, it is advisable to use management software to keep track of the media library. It can also be used to create metadata such as title, artist, performer, genre or year of release – just about everything you need for a tidy music or film archive.

Selling CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays – a lot of effort for little money

However, it’s important to remember that even a hard drive doesn’t last forever. After about ten years, it’s time to copy your media library to a new disk. However, if you don’t care about an archive, you can also sell your old CDs or your DVD or Blu-ray collection, for example on Ebay, with the help of flea market apps or social media sales groups. However, you should not expect a big windfall; after all, many others feel the same way as you do, so the supply far exceeds the demand.

An alternative to get rid of old CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays are so-called resellers like Momox or reBuy. They buy your goods from you at a fixed price. So you don’t have to bother with questions from potential buyers who also want to negotiate the price. But resellers don’t pay too much either. After all, they also want to do business with the goods.

Old discs in the trash can – only in which?

If you don’t feel like the stress of selling, you can simply dispose of old CDs and DVDs. However, you should not throw them into the household garbage together with the cover and booklet, because some of the material can be recycled. The booklet belongs in the waste paper. The polycarbonate contained in CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays is used to make granules for plastic production. The discs also have a thin layer of aluminum. The metal is used in the automotive industry.

So the silverware belongs in the recycling garbage can or the yellow bag so that it can be recycled. You can also drop them off at your municipality’s recycling center if, for example, the quantity does not fit in the garbage can or bag. To dispose of the wrapper, the specifications vary from city to city. The best thing to do is to find out whether the wrapping also belongs in the yellow bag or the recycling garbage can, or whether it can be thrown in the residual waste.

Read at our colleagues of myHOMEBOOK: Correct separation and disposal – what belongs in the recycling garbage can?

Donate old CDs, DVDs and Blu-rays for a good cause

Recycling is all well and good, but garbage is still produced, of course, even though you can still play old CDs and DVDs. If you don’t want to sell or throw away the discs, you can also donate them. However, you should find out beforehand whether the recipient can do something with such media.

In Switzerland, for example, there is the Medienspende association, which is backed by Melando AG, which operates an online store for used media. The association accepts used media and sells them. After deducting expense costs, the proceeds are forwarded quarterly to aid organizations such as Amnesty International Switzerland, Caritas Switzerland or the Swiss Red Cross. Donors can choose among the charities where the proceeds from their donation should go.

By donating, you avoid waste and ensure that someone can still enjoy the music or movies. You are doing a good work and the relics of the past are finally off the shelf.