Trashing Trashy Tunes
July 12, 2009 4:16 PM   Subscribe

How can I dispose of hundreds of CDs in an environmentally sound manner?

To reduce clutter, I would like to dispose of hundreds of audio and non-sensitive data CDs in an environmentally sound manner. That is, I could throw them in the trash, but this is probably a really bad idea and I'd like to hear about alternatives.

If someone wants to pay me for my music CDs, that would be awesome, definitely. However, I don't think I have the time or energy to devote a few weeks to cataloguing all these discs and their conditions. I don't have time or energy to run a stall at a flea market. If there are services that purchase music CDs (mostly electronic music, some rock and pop) outright, I'm interested.

That aside, do recycling services take CDs in bulk and is there such a facility in or reasonably near the Seattle metropolitan area?
posted by Blazecock Pileon to Grab Bag (14 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: And if it wasn't clear, I should add that I'd like to be rid of the storage cases, too.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:16 PM on July 12, 2009

Why catalog? Jut put the whole lot on craigslist for a single price. Price them at .50 - $1/cd for the whole lot. Someone is bound to come along and take them off your hands. I did that with my 500 cassette tape collection a few years ago. I made $150, which I wasn't expecting at all.
posted by zerokey at 4:26 PM on July 12, 2009

For the music CDs, you could probably take 'em to a used-CD store, then take whatever money they offer for 'em (if we're talking about the higher end of 'hundreds,' it might be worthwhile to call the place and make sure they can do that big of a buy). Although I don't know the Seattle metro area, I feel comfortable saying that there are probably some used-CD stores.
posted by box at 4:28 PM on July 12, 2009

I'm not sure about the data CDs, as I think you'd actually want to destroy those and I'm not sure how to dispose of the pieces in an environmentally sound manner, but the music CDs could easily be sold in lots as-is on eBay. As long as they all actually play, you should be able to get away with a blanket description like "playable, may have visible scratches" or what have you -- probably all anyone is going to care about is that they don't skip (especially since the discs will soon likely onto the buyer's hard drive and quite possibly disposed of). I'd suggest you divide the CDs by genre, maybe, and sell them a bunch at a time in whatever number you feel comfortable putting in a box and hauling to the post office (enough CDs, as with enough anything = heavy).
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:31 PM on July 12, 2009

for the CD's is where its at.
for the data cd-roms.... uh, art project?
posted by chasles at 4:33 PM on July 12, 2009

Assuming they're in sellable condition and not just binders full of naked CDs...Goodwill/Salvation Army?

BTW, on the off chance you're dumping the audio CDs as the final step in converting everything to MP3/FLAC/whatever, keep in mind this is a copyright violation unless you delete the ripped copies as well.
posted by Lazlo at 4:40 PM on July 12, 2009

It's not near the Seattle area, but MRC Polymers in Chicago accepts shipments of CDs for recycling as of March, when I shipped them a big box of my clutter. It will cost you a little money, but shipping CDs & cases is very cheap.
posted by Colonel_Chappy at 5:21 PM on July 12, 2009

I've successfully given away CD cases on Freecycle -- they actually seem to be pretty high demand for some reason, so if you just want to throw away the discs and give the jewel cases to someone who'll use them, that's an option.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:58 PM on July 12, 2009

Everyday Music in Seattle will buy all music CDs you bring in. (The ones they don't really want but will take they give you a quarter for)
posted by kbuxton at 6:15 PM on July 12, 2009

In New England, we put stuff on the curb with a big handwritten "FREE" sign and if it has any value at all, it's usually gone within a few hours.

Perhaps you could do this with your audio CDs.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:38 PM on July 12, 2009 claims to do it for the environmental-friendliness. You just pay the shipping. Looks like GreenDisk charges a small fee on top of shipping. Haven't used either myself, but they've come up in conversations.

And yeah, for the music cds just go to a local used record store or sell 'em as a lot on Craigslist, then donate the leftovers to a nonprofit thrift store like Goodwill and claim a tax deduction for the donation.
posted by mediareport at 7:07 PM on July 12, 2009

Just bring the music CDs to a music store that buys used CDs (every major city has one). They'll do the pricing for you, pay you, and you'll be rid of the problem.
posted by VikingSword at 11:06 PM on July 12, 2009

I'd be interested in taking some of the electronic music off your hands - pay for shipping - whatever. Contact me via memail and give me some idea of the stock.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 6:36 AM on July 13, 2009

Is there a community (volunteer) radio station in your area? They might be interested in the audio CDs or at least the jewel cases.
posted by PatoPata at 10:23 AM on July 13, 2009

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