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Should I Throw Away My Vinyl Records? What To Do With Your Old Collection

Should I throw away my records?

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Before deciding to throw away your vinyl records, assess their condition and consider alternatives like recycling, repurposing, selling, or donating. If the records are damaged beyond use, recycling or finding creative ways to repurpose them might be more environmentally friendly than outright disposal. However, if they hold sentimental or collector's value, exploring preservation or passing them on to someone who can appreciate them is often a preferable choice.

Whether or not to throw away your vinyl records depends on their condition, your personal preferences, and the reasons behind considering disposal. If your records are damaged, scratched, or unplayable, you might consider recycling or repurposing them. 


However, if they are in good condition and hold sentimental or collector's value, it's advisable to preserve or find alternative uses for them rather than discard them. Additionally, you might explore options like selling, donating, or giving them to someone who can appreciate or make use of them. Ultimately, the decision depends on your assessment of their value and your attachment to the collection.


Here are ten suggestions for what to do with your record collection:

1 - Keep and Enjoy

Records at home
Listening to your record collection is a wonderful pastime

If the records are in good condition and hold sentimental or collector's value, you can keep them and continue enjoying the music. Proper storage, regular cleaning, and the use of high-quality equipment for playback will enhance the longevity of your collection. You can learn more about caring for your records on our blog, and you can keep adding to your collection from our shop.

2 - Sell

Selling your vinyl records is a great option if you have duplicates, are looking to downsize your collection, or believe they may hold value for collectors. Platforms like online marketplaces, record stores, or specialised vinyl markets can provide opportunities to connect with buyers who share an interest in the music you've collected, offering a chance to both declutter and potentially earn some extra income from your vinyl records. Before selling, it's advisable to research the market value of your records to ensure a fair transaction.

Here at Atlas Records, we buy record collections from all over the UK! Feel free to get in touch with us if you are thinking about selling your collection.

3 - Donate

Donating your vinyl records is a generous way to share the joy of music with others who may appreciate them. Local libraries, schools, community centres, or charitable organisations often welcome donations of vinyl records, providing an opportunity to contribute to the cultural enjoyment of the community while finding a new home for your collection. Before donating, it's helpful to check with the recipient organization to ensure they accept vinyl records and that your contribution aligns with their needs.

4 - Repurpose

Record bowls

Repurposing old or damaged vinyl records can be a creative and eco-friendly option. Consider turning them into unique art pieces, such as bowls, wall decorations, or coasters. This not only breathes new life into the records but also allows you to showcase your creativity while minimising environmental impact.

5 - Recycle

Recycling bottle caps
It can be difficult to find a location to recycle vinyl records

If your vinyl records are beyond use or repair, recycling is an environmentally responsible option. It is unlikely that they will, but it is worth checking with local recycling facilities to see if they accept vinyl records, as the recycling process can vary. Recycling helps reduce waste and ensures that the materials in the records are repurposed in an eco-friendly manner.

6 - Trade

Trading records
Trading can be a great way to make friends as well as discover new music

Trading vinyl records with other collectors provides an opportunity to diversify your collection without monetary transactions. Online platforms like Facebook groups, local record stores, or vinyl swap events often facilitate trading, allowing you to exchange records you may have duplicates of or ones you've outgrown for new additions to your collection. It's a social and collaborative way to connect with fellow enthusiasts and discover music gems.

7 - Store Safely

Sealing a box of records
Putting your record collection in storage could be an ideal temporary solution

If your current space is limited but you want to revisit your vinyl collection when you have a larger home, consider placing them in storage. To safeguard their condition, use proper record sleeves, store them vertically to prevent warping, and opt for a storage facility with controlled temperature and humidity. These precautions ensure that your collection remains in optimal shape for the day you retrieve and enjoy them in your expanded space.

8 - Frame for Display

Framing your favourite album covers or records is a stylish way to display your vinyl collection as unique art pieces. It not only adds a personalized touch to your living space but also protects the covers from wear and tear. This option allows you to showcase the aesthetic appeal of your favourite albums while preserving their visual impact.

9 - Create a DIY Project

Vinyl bookends | There are many options for using records for DIY projects

Using vinyl records for DIY projects opens a world of creative possibilities. Whether crafting unique clocks, bookends, or even a custom vinyl record shelf, repurposing your records allows you to transform them into functional and visually appealing items. Embrace your creativity and give your old or damaged vinyl records a second life through imaginative and personalised do-it-yourself projects.

10 - Digital Conversion

Converting your vinyl records into digital formats offers the convenience of enjoying your favourite music on modern devices. Using a quality turntable with a USB output or a dedicated vinyl-to-digital converter, you can preserve the analogue warmth of vinyl while creating digital files for easy accessibility. This option allows you to bridge the gap between the nostalgic charm of vinyl and the convenience of digital playback.


Here’s a video with advice about how to convert your records into digital formats:

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