CD/DVD Recycling at Our Libraries

 Did you know that the first consumer CDs appeared on store shelves in 1983 and DVDs in 1997? Literally billions have been sold since. In America, 32 million of them were sold in 2018 alone. This does not include CDs/DVDs used by commercial businesses for program distribution (think of all those AOL disks and Microsoft Windows Upgrades), temporary data storage, distribution, marketing, and so on. Most of them end up in landfills.

Each CD or DVD weighs about a half an ounce. A plastic case adds between one and two extra ounces. Multiply that by 32 million and you get over 3,000,000 pounds for 2018 alone. Considering that these disks have been around since early 1983 (CDs), that’s a lot of plastic. Most of it ends up in landfills. Even those diverted for craft projects (coasters, bowls, etc.) end up in the garbage when the crafts are no longer wanted.

The problem is those disks do not decompose for up to 1 million years. That’s 1,000,000 years or 13,758 lifetimes. Until now there was no alternative but to toss them in the trash. They end up in landfills forever.

The Mason County District Library is about to change that.

Now you can bring the disks to either the Ludington or Scottville library. We have partnered with Comprenew of Grand Rapids to collect and recycle those disks, at no charge, and keep them out of the landfill. Comprenew shreds the disks to separate the plastic from the metal and sends the results off to be reused for other products.

Comprenew (www.comprenew.org) is a nonprofit electronics refurbisher and recycler, based in Grand Rapids (MI) with a growing number of Western Michigan stores and collection locations. They are committed to giving your retired electronic devices new life, whenever possible, or recycle the material that can’t be renewed.

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