Recycling Floppy Disks Shouldn’t be Annoying

 When it comes to Floppy Disks, you have a variety of recycling choices. 

The first and the best way is to reuse them.  Floppy disks can last a long time.  Information can be written, deleted, or overwritten hundreds of times before the magnetic disk surface that retains that information wears out.  They can also be reformatted to clean off all the previous data, and then re-written with new.  There is so much more I could tell you about floppy disks that likely would surprise you – but alas, this article is about recycling them.

The second way is to recycle their parts.  Floppy disks besides being older are significantly different than CD and DVD media. For one thing they are made up of parts which when you unassemble them can each individually be recycled. The recording part of a floppy disk is a flexible piece of iron oxide film rather than a hard plastic surface like a CD and DVD.  The 3½” floppy disk has some additional steel parts over the 5¼” or 8” ones but otherwise they are similar.  Individually the parts we would need to recycle would be:



  • Plastic – the outer plastic shell or housing, a plastic write protect tab and a plastic wiper tab.  These are all made of Polyvinyl Chloride and a recyclable #3  plastic.3-1Collage
  • Metal – a metal shutter, the spring and the hub are all made of stainless steel.  
  • Paper – A set of paper rings or liners (these liners are attached to the plastic housing and are used to clean the disk as it spins).  Paper, of course is recyclable.
  • Magnetic Disk – A “recording” ring which is made of pliable Mylar® – a polyester film coated with iron oxide (the same materials as cassette and videotape recording surfaces).  Mylar® is Polyethylene Terephthalate and recyclable as a #1 plastic.

The third way to recycle them is to use them in some crafty art projects.  Earlier this year, I sold over  100 – 3.5” perfectly good floppy disks to a person who used them to make unique coasters which she then sold on Esty.  In fact if you check out Esty here: Floppy Disk Crafts.  you will see some unique ideas for using them.

Here are some of the idea’s I liked for craft projects.floppy2Collage

Floppy disks stopped being produced last year and the remaining supply is limited.  So reuse, recycle or re-purpose, the choice is yours.



Reply to question below – 01/15/13

Here’s what my dis-assembled floppy looked like:


Its Annoying – Recycling CDROMS

Its Annoying – Recycling CDROMS


Recycling is usually not annoying for me.  It’s something I think we all should do on a regular basis.  There are so many useful things today that can be made out of recycled and reused materials that it just doesn’t make sense to fill a landfill instead of recycling.   But I have a dilemma – while I want to recycle the pallet of used CD/DVD media that I have in my warehouse, I cannot find someone who really wants to take the material off my hands.    After searching for a minimum of six months to find a recycler for my one  pallet of used CDROMS for recycling, I am getting annoyed.  There are a few places who will, but they aren’t local, and they will charge me several hundred dollars for the privilege.  I really want to recycle, but I don’t want to have to pay to give them away.  I understand that the process to recycle this media isn’t an easy one, and not many recycling centers even want to attempt the complex process needed to break down the media back into usable products.


If you have ever tried to recycle your CD’s – you may already know they are a #7 to the plastic industry ~ the  official “other”  category of the plastic family.   Anything that doesn’t fit into categories #1-#6, get by default into #7.  CD and DVD media falls into the #7 category because they are made of a combination of aluminum, polycarbonate (PC) plastic, lacquer and many times, if printed, ink.  They are not one of the easiest plastics or products to recycle.  Many recycling centers won’t even consider taking them.  Most #7 plastics are non-recyclable and some can be downright dangerous to you.

Nalgene water bottles, some Tupperware, some baby bottles, the inner lining of soft drink cans, some clear plastic containers as well as CD/DVD media are made with something called polycarbonate (PC) plastic.  This particular plastic releases a chemical called Bisphenol A or BPA as it decomposes.  BPA is a hormone, much like estrogen, and it when it leeches into our food and water supplies can cause significant health issues.  

So I thought I’d provide some “alternative” ways to recycle them into art and avoid piling them into a landfill.   Please note:  I am not a crafty person. I do this in partial desperation to encourage people to “want to have” used CD’s so that they can freely be creative!

First, I covered the CD.  I used regular CD label stock as well as using a large white adhesive label, tracing and cutting out the circle size I would need to cover the media.  If you don’t have CD label stock, you can always use adhesive sheet paper.  Alternatives to that include using paint (always fun for kids) and/or paper glued to the CD.  If you use paper, consider construction paper, or something a little more substantial in weight because the glue won’t dry super smooth and may soak into the paper.  After I affixed the circles I had cut out – I used a one sided razor blade to “shave” around the edges.  The beauty of covering the CD is that if you wanted to let the little ones color or draw on them, you’d be able to do that now and you’d be done.

CD label

These are now ready for the next step in the process. You can trace, draw, color, or even provide stickers for your artwork.   And if you plan on hanging the artwork you could do that through the middle of the CD.  If you want to use a string, or ribbon plan ahead and do it at the same time as your adhesive label material to hold it in place! 

If you have talent in the art or craft department, you probably can make some wonderful things! Sadly, I don’t.

Additional Ideas

If  you have thousands or want to use more than just a couple CD or DVD media pieces to complete your project, this next group should give you some more challenging  ideas.  These are not recommended for children.  The CD’s when broken, cut or punched can make very sharp edges and you should never let children attempt to do any of that themselves. 

Additional Ideas

 So now can I get anyone to take about 25,000 of these?


Planning for Retirement is Annoying

There is nothing I would like to do than to complete a retirement plan.  Everywhere I read they encourage you to have one.  However, the whole idea for me gets caught in a million intertwined catch-22 scenarios and so involved I can’t get it free to complete it. 

Retirement Ahead is Annoying

At first, I just wanted to guess about our planned income in retirement, and see where, and then how we would need to live to accomplish a “not running out” of money before we ran out of life scenario.  As you can see that’s 2 guesses already in the plan – one the amount of income, and two how long we might have to live.  Caught in this type of guessing game really messes with my brain.  I haven’t even considered the cost of living, and inflation in my plan yet… and I am not the type who likes to guess about that many things at once. 

Since I prefer knowing that I have all my bases covered, I’ll start by thinking I’ll live to 100.  Is that reasonable based on my personal family history? – not even close.  My parents made it to 69 years old each, my one sister died at 61 and another at 52.  Most of the people in my family were lucky to make it to a ripe, old 72 – 75 years.  And while I know life expectancies are higher and I know that I could easily make 75 (I am now 57), there is no guarantee or simple way to guess just how long.

If I really pick 100 – then I have 43 more years that I will need income. That’s a lot. I think I should pick a more reasonable number… like 80 – that should be enough, right?  But, what if it isn’t?  Shouldn’t I just worry about that if I get close?

Eighty only gives me 23 more years to live, and time is running at a breakneck speed for me.  If what’s left of my life is that short, shouldn’t I just throw caution to the wind and enjoy it?  Take that vacation, quit my job, hang out and sleep in?  Maybe I should start selling all my stuff on eBay and that might help finance my “enjoy myself” lifestyle for the next 23 years.  In a way that makes sense, because as I age I will use things less and less – and when I finally pass away they’ll be less to fight over, divide or to sell at the estate sale. 

Well, now that’s what I call turning something that could have been annoying into something enjoyable.  And seriously since the planning part isn’t working for me, I am going to just decide to go with the flow and enjoy every day and moment that I can – and consider the plan accomplished.

Counterfeit Coupons

Counterfeit CouponsI know about coupons. You probably do too.  You cut them out, buy the product,  and hand them to the cashier to save money on your food and other purchases.  Is there more to know?

Yes, I think you should be aware that there are counterfeit coupons in circulation.  People who do not know they have a counterfeit coupon become guilty of coupon fraud when they try to use it…. and to me, that’s simply not fair.  I never know definitively if the coupon I printed or any other coupon I possess  is counterfeit.  There is no 100% sure way to tell.   All the advice I have seen to avoid coupon fraud says, “Don’t buy coupons from anyone.”  I have never purchased coupons from anyone, does this mean I am safe?  — no.  Because if I search the internet for a coupon, and the site looks legitimate, and the coupon looks like every other coupon I see distributed on the internet….it could still be counterfeit but how would I ever know?

Counterfeit Coupons

 The Internet has become the most cost effective way to distribute coupons.  This method saves money by not having to design, print, and hire a firm to place their coupons in local newspapers.  But, where there is money to be made, it’s just a matter of time before someone figures out how to get around the system.  Coupons are counterfeited with the express purpose of either selling them to unsuspecting victims and to “steal” products from the stores.  Getting away with it, is as easy as bringing in a printed piece of paper…or putting up an online auction ~  how easy can it get?

Counterfeit Coupons

The caveat is that  not all stores will accept internet coupons, and still others limit their use.  Why?  The ease in being able to “photocopy” and counterfeit internet coupons of course.  I don’t have a problem with limitations in theory –  although when merchants won’t accept them, that defeats the entire purpose of having a coupon.  When I buy the exact item listed on the coupon, I don’t just have “high expectations” the coupon will be accepted, I feel it should be accepted.

Looking at the list of “known” counterfeit coupons ( find it here:  most aren’t free coupons, but instead are a cents off coupon, or a buy one get one free coupon — why?  The counterfeit coupons people circulate aren’t always for a free product.  You would think they would be.  And did you notice I said circulate?  For some reason,  the people who counterfeit them, also like to share them (sometimes freely, sometimes for a fee).  And, I really don’t get it, they risk jail time, a huge fine, and their reputation in addition to the embarrassment for a discount off a purchase?

Many people have written articles lately to scare legitimate users — telling them they will be guilty of coupon fraud as well as ….”this, that, or the other thing” if they print and use them.   However, that annoys me because none of that is even close to fair to the normal user of these coupons.  If a person prints 1000 of them, and then goes to use them or sell them — that is one thing,  if another person uses one they printed when that user shared them — I don’t believe there is one shred of guilt there.  Whatever happened to common sense?  Thousands of manufacturers have chosen this method to distribute their coupons, and it saves them considerable amounts of money and works to encourage customers to try their products.   Will coupon fraud end that?

Counterfeit Coupons

The most help provided as a way to avoid coupon fraud for the average person is “don’t buy coupons”.  So  why are there still so many sellers of them on eBay?  Why hasn’t eBay shut the category?  If the CIC (link above) and the other law enforcement agencies truly believed this was the foremost way most counterfeit coupons get into circulation, why haven’t they shut the venue/category down.  My check of eBay today had 68,483 listings in coupons.

And then what do you do when even the legitimate coupons are rejected at the store level?  To an honest consumer, this is one of the biggest hassles you can encounter.  You feel like you’ve done something wrong when you haven’t — you feel accused and found guilty.  You are embarrassed for no reason.  In my opinion, and everything I write is 100% my opinion, there is no reason for a store, cashier or policy to do this to anyone.  If it happens to you, my advice is to just pick up your remaining coupons and leave.

UPDATE:  Ever hear of the universal consciousness?  My sister talks about it all the time ~ and just a few days after writing this article  – they arrested several woman who they allege were running  the largest counterfeit coupon ring in AZ!  This wasn’t ‘thousands’ of dollars, it looks like it might have be ‘millions’ of dollars.  More info, if you are interested here:  Counterfeit Coupon Ring Busted




Food Stamps

SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is known in New Jersey as the Food Stamp Program.  Food Stamps were always meant to be a safety net to those who’s income isn’t quite enough to pay for this necessary and vital expenditure.   However, some of the richest counties in this country are showing marked increases in applications for this benefit.

Just today I read about Morris County, NJ (where I grew up) and it’s increase in Food Stamp or SNAP recipients.  Morris County was the 8th. richest county in 2009 with a median household income of $96,000.  By 2012 with $91,000 as the median household income, it had dropped to 10th.  You might not think that’s much of a drop, but it was enough to triple the amount of food stamp recipients.  A worker at the Dept. of Human Services Office of Temporary Assistance said that their caseloads have increased 240% since the recession began and in all the years she has worked there (27) this is the worst she has ever seen it.

A substantial number of those who receive SNAP assistance never thought they would have to even think about putting themselves in that position. “It’s not that I want to take government help, I simply have no choice,”  is said over and over as the lines and the rolls for these and other government benefits swell.   But even now, as unemployment rises due to the unwavering recession, more people in rich counties are asking for this help.

But because I am a saver, a planner, and a believer in always living below your means, I think maybe a substantial number of these “rich” people put themselves in that position.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against my tax dollars being used to supplement someone’s need for food or any assistance for that matter.  But it’s annoying to  me that some of these people never used common sense with their finances before this whole recession hit. 

Common sense with your finances is imperative, for everyone ~ all the time, and not just in times of crisis.  If the information in this article is to be believed,  the  breadwinner in this family,  had a 6 figure income ($130,000), and 20 years at a major company before losing his job.  And that makes me think, if you lived under  your means for those twenty years, could you have saved enough to make it through this financial fiasco we refer to as a recession?   Even if you didn’t, this particular  family in the article stopped paying their mortgage in 2009 (that would have been approximately one year after losing his job) and he “blew through” his 401K.  Where’s the planning in that? 

I don’t begrudge the man the $250 dollars a month New Jersey will give him because he needs the assistance, but I do believe this family needs financial planning help.  There are hundreds of ways to cut your  expenses and stretch your dollars, but believe me, if you never had to do it, it’s  harder than if it becomes a way of life.  I sure hope this family started planning a little better now that he’s gotten himself and his family down to the poverty line because getting back to that 6 figure income may never materialize.

All opinions in this post are 100% mine and have not been influenced by anyone.