The Recycling industry is a 400 billion dollar industry. Recycling companies do a wonderful job accepting most of your unwanted items, and accommodate your recycling pick-up requests, needs and management in very positive ways. It is effective for you because you have got rid of items you no longer needed, and did not want to hurt the environment by letting those items follow a traditional waste stream. It is positive for recycling collection companies for they are collecting more items to sort and bale and sell as a commodity scrap item. And they make very good revenue from it.
Obvious items favored are paper, cardboard, glass, and common plastics like #1 and #2 bottles and similar. Most collection recycling companies are merely "collectors", and not "end markets". A collector collects as much as possible of the same type of items to bail and sell by the pound to an end market, usually in another country such as China. An end market is the actual processor of the collected commodity that has equipment and processes in place to convert and reclaim the raw materials from the commodity collected back into a reusable form. These raw materials are processed into a reusable form and ingredients to be sold to a manufacturing company that can used recycled ingredients in there "new" manufacturing processed. For example, you may read on a magazine "This paper is made from 30% post-consumer recycled paper" which means the paper was is not 100% first run, virgin paper madder from natural resources. Part of it is made from collected and recycled paper.
There are different companies that focus on different materials, and eWaste is a growing division in recycling. Since all compact discs generally go hand in hand with eWaste electronic items, such as computers and disc players, many consumers and companies include their discs and send them to eWaste recyclers. The problem is most eWaste collection companies only accept discs to accommodate the submitter, and they are mainly only interested in the computer scrap with contains valuable plastic, metals, gold, etc that they can collect, bale and sell to an end market, again, generally in China.
When discs are collected and recycled, they do not become new discs. The ink, lacquer, metal and plastic components are all separated, to yield a new clean ready to remanufacture plastic polycarbonate resin. The problem with Recycling discs, is to to do it properly, with an end value, there must be enough of them. Generally speaking, eWaste collectors only collect enough enough discs for it to be a "nuisance" to them, and they try to find the quickest, cheapest way to get rid of them. They are always faced with the fact that it costs more to transport the collected discs to a facility, than the value of the collection is worth. And even more unfortunate, their focus on value almost always overshadows their focus on the environment. Unfortunately, some get grinded and sent to a landfill. Some also get sent to waste-to-energy incinerator plants. Most never get reclaimed right here in America, where we need, and can used recycled plastic resin. This is a horrible waste, for the plastic that discs are made from is very recyclable and reusable, if processed correctly and abundantly by a focused company, like The CD Recycling Center.