5 Awesome Ways to Recycle Old Records

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recycle old records
Creative Commons License photo credit: highwaycharlie

Okay, so you are seriously never going to listen to that polka record you thought would be hilarious and bought at a thrift store for 25¢. You can:

  1. Give it back to the thrift store or charity shop, OR
  2. Upcycle it and make into other fun items like:


1. Preheat oven to 130 ºC, or about 260 ºF

2. Place in an upturned bowl and stick it in the oven for 5 minutes until soft

3. Mold them whichever way you like!

For Your Wall:

Make that old record into a clock.

Check out The Gnarled Branch. All records available on this site were destined for the landfill are now unique pieces of art. Those awesome Canadians- they also ship to the United States!

For Your Table:

Recycled Record Coasters
Recycled Record Coasters

There are some pretty cool coasters from old records. For the holidays, there are some recycled record coasters made from old holiday records!

For Your Desk:

LP Record Frame- Recycled record photo frame by Uncommon Goods. Uncommon Goods is a great place to start if you are looking for recycled gifts in general, and they have everything from earrings to coasters made out of recycled records.

Make recycled bookends, or buy handmade bookends created from vintage recycled records by artist Jeff Davis.

Recycle Old Records: Accessorize!

Music lovers will get a kick out of these recycled record earrings pictured below. Also comes with matching necklaces.

Recycle Old Records
Recycled Record Earrings

But, What About Recycling?

Think those projects are cool, but don’t have the time? Don’t need any more knick knacky clutter? Since records are made out of vinyl, it may seem possible just to do a search for vinyl recycling. Most vinyl discs, however, are made from polyvinyl chloride, known as PVC. Unfortunately, the costs associated with recycling PVC are more than the payoff.  To regrind and “recompound” the resin is more trouble compared to the cost of virgin, unrecycled resin.

A process of PVC Recycling is being developed in Europe and Japan called Texyloop. This process consists of recovering/extracting PVC plastic somehow, but to find out, you’ll have to use Google or Yahoo’s website translator.

In conclusion, as far as I can tell, you can’t actually recycle vinyl records at any recycling center. Other than a thrift store donation, it’s a bit of a recycling dilemma if you’re not feeling crafty. Feel free to share any other upcycling projects or recycling solutions you’ve come up with for old records.

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