GreenIT.fr reports that the City of Paris has launched a new collection system for recycling CDs and DVDs.
Conducted in partnership with Coldisk , the operation is based on 15 containers placed for six months in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Nine of them will be placed in specific locations, such as colleges, while four will be freely available in public places.
More than 200 million CDs/DVDs are sold each year in France, almost all of which ends up in landfill. A CD of 23 grams is 90% polycarbonates, which recyclable, as is the plastic case. The polycarbonate is made into granules that become plastic cards, jewellery, lamps, etc. while the boxes are turned into pellets that can be converted into new polystyrene boxes or buttons.
It’s one way of saving a lot of recyclable waste - we don’t have any easy means to recycle CDs and DVDs in the UK, for example (as far as I’m aware). On the other hand, it is a decreasing problem as more and more music and videos are downloaded. CD album sales have decreased for the last six years in a row in the UK as downloads have increased - HMV have announced the closure of 40 stores over the next year as a result.
There is a cost in carbon from downloading – something around 7kWh per gigabyte, according to an article in the Guardian last year, - but downloading is still 40-80% more carbon efficient than buying a CD, let alone the recycling advantage.