Cole started his career at the east London club and returned for a second spell in January, but failed to claim a regular starting role.
Fellow midfielder Collison also came through the academy ranks, making his debut in 2007, although his first-team opportunities were restricted by a persistent knee problem.
The Welshman was loaned out to Wigan last season and manager Sam Allardyce has allowed him to find regular football elsewhere.
McCartney, an experienced full-back, rejoined the club on a free transfer in the summer of 2012 and supplied cover at centre-back last season.
The 33-year-old, who had an early spell with West Ham, will cut his ties with the team when his contract expires.
Goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen and midfielder Matt Taylor are still discussing possible deals, while the club has exercised an option to extend the contract of defender Dan Potts.
Young duo Callum Driver and Jordan Spence will also be released, as will scholars Dymon Labonne, Rob Girdlestone, Thomas Gogo, Gines Guzman Rosique, Courtney Homans, Taylor Miles and Frazer Shaw.
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