CDs and DVDs
There is still a market for used commercially-produced DVDs and CDs, whether at your local music or video store or online sites like Second Spin. If you find the market for your collection of Adam Sandler comedies has dried up, you can always donate to a local thrift store.
If you have non-commercial DVDs and CDs that are of no use to anyone else, your local recycling program will likely take them, along with their jewel cases. I know the city of Los Angeles does.
If you do not have a local recycling option, you can send your unwanted CDs/DVDs to GreenDisk. This is not a free service. It starts at $42.95 for recycling everything (they take all types of “technotrash”) in one of their standard sized containers. This might be a more attractive option if you have security concerns about your stuff, since they destroy all information on the electronic media you send them.
You can also send DVDs to U.S. troops overseas. They don’t get into too much detail, and I am always suspicious that sending a relatively worthless item through international post really makes economic sense, but maybe that truly is the best option available. I’m open to being corrected.