Musical Greeting Cards

Alternative ways to recycle
Illegal in Garbage & Drains
Contains Mercury
Special Management Instructions

Remove musical device and take to Hazardous Waste Drop-off. The card may be recycled like other greeting cards once the musical device is removed.  


Musical Cards Contain Mercury

Due to the mercury contained within the musical device, musical greeting cards must be disposed of as hazardous waste if they are kept whole.

Circuit Board

Remove the Musical Device

Remove the musical device in order to recycle the card. Recycle the electronic device as e-waste. Recycle the paper portion of the card with your other paper products as long as any other non-paper elements such as glitter and foil have been removed.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

St. Jude's Ranch

St. Jude’s Recycled Card Program

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children operates a recycling program in which the fronts of greeting cards are used to make new cards. They accept all cards except Hallmark, American Greetings and Disney due to copyright laws. Find out how to participate.

Ways to Reduce

Opt For a Simpler Card

Because of the hazardous materials they contain, musical greeting cards can be harmful to the environment, especially if they’re disposed of improperly. It’s better to opt for a non-musical, more easily recycled greeting card instead.

Switch to E-Cards

Sending your cards electronically is not only more economical and timely, but much more environmentally friendly.

Send Songs Another Way

While musical greeting cards can be fun, consider sending friends and loved ones a more personal song by recording something yourself in a private voice note or social media video. You can also send them a link to a song you think they would appreciate.

Ways to Reuse

Hack a Greeting Card

With just a few simple tools, you can repurpose the sound system inside a musical greeting card into your own recordable communication device. Find out how.

Did You Know?

More Hazardous Than a Light Bulb

Musical greeting cards require batteries to work, and these batteries can contain more mercury than a compact fluorescent light bulb. Mercury is very hazardous both to humans and to wildlife, and most of the mercury in the atmosphere comes from burning mercury-containing garbage.

The Environmental Impact of Greeting Cards

Making and transporting greeting cards has its own carbon footprint on the environment. It is estimated that the average greeting card produces 600 times the carbon dioxide of an email (Verus Carbon Neutral). Americans purchase enough greeting cards to produce the same amount of CO2 as 22,000 cars annually.