How to Recycle Floppy Disks

To recycle your floppy disks so that they can go on to live another day as something new, follow these simple steps.

By Maryruth Belsey Priebe

Fact checked by Sander Tamm

Recycling Floppy Disks
How to Recycle Floppy Disks / Sander Tamm / Ecolife

Sure, you may no longer make regular use of floppy disks, but most of us have a stack of them sitting in the drawer or at the back of the home office closet. Like most other e-waste, floppy disks are made with materials that can and should be recovered, so recycling them is a great move if you’re looking to clean out your home of electronic waste. 

To recycle your floppy disks, follow these simple steps:

Do a data wipe

To protect your privacy, be sure to remove all data from the disks. You can often just do a “full” or “unconditional” disk format. On Microsoft Windows, you’ll have to right-click on the drive icon and select format. On Macintosh. simply use initialize from the finder.

Reuse with caution

Although you’ll find an abundance of strange and wonderful reuse options for floppy disks online, this isn’t the most efficient use of these resources. And more often than not, the pen holders and bags we create with this e-waste is rarely used, eventually ending up in the trash in the end anyway. Recycling is therefore the greener method of handling this type of e-waste.

Find a recycling center

Though not as simple to find as a computer recycler, companies that accept floppy disks for recycling do exist. For example, consider floppydisk.com or GreenDisk.