Creative ways to repurpose old CDs and DVDs

In an era where digital media reigns supreme, many of us find ourselves with a collection of CDs and DVDs gathering dust. This is especially true as we move towards digital formats for music and video. So, what can we do with these old discs, especially when moving house or decluttering?

Mick Haupt

Polluting Elements

In Belgium, there is no specific recycling stream for CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs yet. Many are unaware that these media are energy-intensive and generate significant pollution during production. They require large amounts of polycarbonate, accounting for 16% of the total global use of this material. As a primary material, it’s challenging to recycle, and few companies worldwide can process and recycle it effectively.

Condition Matters

Therefore, it’s better to avoid throwing these items in the trash. Opt for a "second life" by choosing second-hand channels (thrift stores, flea markets, or online sales), provided your discs are in good condition and still readable. If you’re not keen on online selling (taking photos, writing descriptions), consider offering them to a local record store specializing in used discs or a second-hand bookstore.

What if They’re Unreadable?

If your discs are unreadable due to scratches or warping, you can repurpose them into practical items like coasters or pigeon deterrents for outdoor use. They can also be transformed into decorative accessories for a child’s room or a play area. The possibilities for reuse are endless!

Repurposing Ideas

Let’s explore some creative ways to give these old discs a new lease on life:

Artistic Decorations

CDs and DVDs can be turned into stunning art pieces. Their reflective surfaces make them ideal for mosaic projects or wall art. You can cut them into various shapes and sizes to create unique patterns and designs.

Practical Household Items

With a bit of creativity, these discs can be transformed into practical household items. Coasters, wall clocks, or even garden markers are just a few examples. These DIY projects not only recycle the discs but also add a personal touch to your home.

Engaging with the Community

Consider donating your old CDs and DVDs to schools, community centers, or art classes. They can be used for various educational and craft projects, helping to foster creativity and reduce waste.

Alternative Uses in Technology

For the tech-savvy, old CDs and DVDs can be used for various technological hacks. They can serve as makeshift signal reflectors or even as tools for software and hardware projects.


Repurposing old CDs and DVDs is not just about reducing waste; it’s about reimagining and reinventing. By finding new uses for these outdated media, we can contribute to a more sustainable and creative world. Whether it’s through art, practical household items, community engagement, or tech hacks, the potential for these old discs is as vast as our imagination.