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REPURPOSE | Trash into Treasures


Add a musical touch to your table setting

By Wendy Becktold

Lori Eanes

"Managing my music collection" used to mean alphabetizing all my CDs.

I went digital a while ago, though, and now my CDs are packed away in a stack of dusty binders. It's probably time to let go, but how exactly? Compact discs are made of materials, like aluminum and poly?carbonate, that don't belong in a landfill, so the thought of throwing them out strikes a sour note for an enviro like me. With just a little tweaking, I turned a few of mine into napkin holders to decorate my table. I cut each CD into three pieces and glued the two outer pieces on top of the middle one at 90-degree angles.

As for the rest of my collection, I'll sell or donate what I can and send the rejects to the CD Recycling Center of America. It takes discs from big donors like the U.S. Army and the Postal Service, and from individuals too. (Cofounder Bruce Bennett told me that if every American mailed in just one disc, there would be enough to fill a freight train 234 cars long.) All that recycled plastic eventually turns up in building materials and car parts. Now that's music to my ears.


The only tricky part is cutting the CD without flaking off the paint.

Jessica Meskus
What You'll Need:
  • CD
  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Cutting mat
  • Utility knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Super Glue
  • Spray paint (optional)

Based on a project by Nicholas Torretta at

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