Environment Magazine

Can You Recycle Floppy Disks? (And Are They Biodegradable?)

Posted on the 12 March 2021 by Rinkesh @ThinkDevGrow

Can You Recycle Floppy Disks?

Talk about storage devices, and you might just be making the wrong choice by leaving floppy disks out of the count. Floppy disks have long been in existence, and their handiness and portability have made them quite suitable for different kinds of situations. This explains why they are always top on people’s list of storage devices.

However, the popularity that floppy disks have gathered has also given room to some environmental concerns. In this light, one of the questions that consistently comes to our mind is what happens to these devices when they are old and out of use? Knowing this and how these floppy disks are treated would pave new ways on how to properly manage floppy disks and be environmentally conscious at the same time.

floppy disks

Flowing from this, this post will consider what effects, directly or indirectly, floppy disks are having on our environment. The following paragraphs reveal a lot of information about this that you don’t want to miss out on. So, relax and enjoy the treat!

Are Floppy Disks Recyclable?

If you have been using computers for quite some time,  you are likely to have a pile of old and used floppy disks stashed at one corner of your home or office. We all know that taking them to the landfill may not sound like the best advice, so let’s find out if you can recycle them?

Generally, floppy disks can be recycled. This is because they are usually manufactured and made with highly recyclable materials. These materials include stainless steel, adhesive rings, plastics, and metals coated with iron oxide. Since these materials are largely recyclable, there is no doubt that floppy disks can be recycled.

Once you get your floppy disks delivered to the recycling centers, they go ahead to sort the device out parts by parts. For instance, they sort the plastic parts away from the metal parts before recycling. They do this to hasten the recycling process and prevent one part from hindering the others’ recycling.

However, because the recycling of floppy disks is cumbersome, it is possible that you do not find recycling centers involved in recycling floppy disks in your locality. Also, many of the recycling stations you would find may not accept the floppy disks unless they are in large quantities.

In fact, research has shown that recycling centers only recycle old floppy disks as much as  250 000 (two hundred and fifty thousand) at a time. Due to this, you might have to drop your floppy disks at a collection center, where they are then taken to the recycling station in large numbers.

Before delivering your old and used floppy disks to your local recycling station, you should get all the information and details contained in them recovered and stored in a new device. This is to avoid losing your vital details as you offer these devices for recycling. You can simply drag your useful files into a new floppy disk or a USB Drive.

In all, your floppy disks are recyclable due to the materials they are made with. So, next time your floppy disks get old and unusable, you should remember to package them for recycling.

Are Floppy Disks Worth Anything?

Sometimes, having old stuff may be a blessing in disguise. Often, it turns out that those things we take with levity have some worth to some people or organizations. This is why it is always advisable to consider the worth of our possession before discarding them. Regarding floppy disks, we need to know if they are worth anything before we deal decisively with them.

Firstly, some individuals and institutions take up the responsibility of appraising old and used floppy disks and evaluating their monetary worth and value. They collect these objects in large quantities, tell you how much they are worth, pay, and use them for personal and business purposes.

The monetary value and worth of your old floppy disks largely depend on several factors. Some of these factors include desirability, condition, brand, and organizations that produced the device. Another important factor that comes to the fore regarding the worth of these devices is the length of time for which they have been used.

The basic and most pressing of all the factors mentioned in the paragraphs above is desirability. What happens when your floppy disk is in good shape and condition, made by a renowned and popular organization, yet it is not worth a dime? The reason is that it is not desirable. On the contrary, when you make sure that your used and old floppy disks are well shaped for resale, made by a popular organization, and are desirable, they can worth a fortune.

The organization that produced your floppy disk plays a crucial role in determining how much it is worth when you offer it for sale. Some producers are well known to produce quality and long-lasting devices, unlike others whose devices are poorly manufactured.

Hence, when next you go to a store to get a floppy disk for either home or office use, look out for the ones made by a highly reputable organization. You will have a lot to benefit from whenever you decide to offer it to someone else for value.

Apart from the factors explained above, you also have a lot to gain if your floppy disks are in good condition. Do you still have the disk in place? What about the paper ring? Is it well fixed? Is the plastic flap worn, bent, or out of place? Do you check the center hub to ascertain if it’s in good shape? Do you have all the plastic parts intact? These conditions can influence the worth of your floppy disks significantly. That is why it is important to check these boxes if you want to get the best worth out of your floppy disks.

Another factor that can stop you from maximizing profits on your old floppy disks is the length of use. How long did you use the device? Obsolescence and depreciation set in when an object or tool is used for a relatively long period—such items, due to their depreciation, worthless when you offer them for value. So, if you want to maximize profit on these devices, ensure that you offer them for sale as quickly as possible.

Lastly, the amount an individual or institution is willing to pay for old floppy disks also depends on their quantity. The larger the number of floppy disks you have for sale, the higher the amount and vice versa. Thus, for better profit, you can get these disks in large quantities. Don’t think that you are gathering trash; in the real sense of it, you are piling values together.

Are Floppy Disks Biodegradable?

Getting to a landfill and seeing that the devices we have used are sitting comfortably on the ground doesn’t give the right feeling. This is why it’s important to know if our devices would be biodegradable or not. This will inform our choice of disposal and help us save the environment. With regards to floppy disks, can they be easily broken down? Let’s find out together.

Because these devices are largely made of plastics and metals, it is easier to say that they are not biodegradable materials. This is because plastics cannot generally break and decompose in the soil.

Generally, plastic materials take up to a thousand years to biodegrade. Floppy disks are also made of a small number of metals. Metals, just like plastics, are non-biodegradable materials. Thus, floppy disks are largely non-biodegradable.

You will only be wasting your energy, time, and resources by trying to get them decomposed in the soil. They are made with adhesive materials, chemicals, and elements that prevent them from breaking down easily.

Can You Throw Floppy Disks Away?

Before getting rid of these devices by throwing them away, have you thought of the implications and effects they will be having on your resources and environment collectively? Floppy disks are quite toxic, especially when they are thrown into the environment. They can cause harm to children who might be having fun in the surroundings. Hence, they are not suitable to be thrown away.

Apart from the implication and harm mentioned above, throwing your old and used floppy disks can greatly mess up your whole surroundings. We all know the importance of keeping our surroundings clean and tidy. We know the health hazards of unhealthy materials, especially those made of toxic elements like floppy disks in our surroundings. This is the reason you should not think of throwing your floppy disks away. They will eventually end up polluting the environment.

To avoid creating a mess in your home/office and getting the whole environment littered with disks, you can easily dispose of them by getting them to recyclers or offering them for sale.

Can You Burn Floppy Disks?

Burning your old and used floppy disks is another means to get rid of these toxic tools. Yes, floppy disks can be burnt. However, burning floppy disks can come with severe implications on your health as well as the safety of your environment.

So, how do you go about burning these disks?

The process is quite easy and simple to do. You can choose to carry out the burning in a metal trash bin. After placing your disposable floppy disks inside, use a long lighter to light them. You may need some cardboard or paper and lighter fluid to kindle the fire and get it going.

However, the fumes that come from burning floppy disks can be quite toxic and harmful. You should carry out the burning outside to avoid breathing in the fumes.

Burning is another means to get rid of your floppy disks. However, there are negative side effects attached to this. So, except all other means of getting rid of your floppy disks are not plausible, you should not burn your floppy disks.

How Do You Dispose Of Floppy Disks?

Proper disposal of floppy disks should not be a demanding task. You can choose several options to pick from to protect your environment from threats and risks posed by these toxic devices.

1. Recycle Them

You can dispose of your old floppy disks by getting them to the nearest recycling station to you. This is the most healthy and environmentally friendly way of getting rid of your floppy disks. Due to these recycling stations’ unavailability in large quantities, you can take it upon yourself to source for them via online means.

2. Donate Them

You can also choose to donate the disks to charity homes and friends. The disks are suitable for doing simple craft projects such as Christmas decoration and other seasonal celebrations. You will be making your surroundings safer by doing this.

3. Sell Them

Selling your floppy disks is also another means to dispose of them. Above, we have explained what you need to take care of your floppy disks to be worth a lot. Doing what we stated above will make you get the best for your floppy disks.

4. Burn Them

Burning your floppy disks may also be another means to dispose of them. But remember, due to the risks involved in burning floppy disks, you should only consider it a last option.


No doubt, floppy disks have been helping us in different ways. But then, they may also be constituting a threat to our environment if not properly taken care of. This is why you need to handle them in an eco-friendly way. You can keep the environment safe by sending your floppy disks for recycling, donating them, selling them, or, as the last option, burning them.

floppy disks

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