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How to Recycle VHS Tapes (7 Great Tips)

close up of VHS tape in a person's hands

VHS tapes were once the movie format of choice, and many homes in the United States have dozens, if not hundreds, of these bulky relics still lying around, which has many people wondering how to get rid of them to free up space. Read on for several tips and tricks to recycle these old tapes properly to put them to better use.

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The Top 7 Tips on How to Recycle VHS Tapes

1. Local Recycling Plant

VHS tips were popular before the current environmental push, and manufacturers made them from non-recyclable plastic and metals, making them hard to recycle at your local recycling plans. However, some recycling plants do accept them, so we recommend checking with your legal establishments to see if you can drop yours off.

2. Green Disk

Greendisc is an organization that accepts many kinds of electronic media, including VHS tapes and old cassette tapes. You need to ship over your supply, but it has the facilities for recycling the tapes so they won’t do as much damage to the environment. It also accepts video game consoles, cell phones, CDs, and more.

3. Thrift Stores

people in a thrift store
Image Credit: Robinson Greig, Unsplash

Many thrift stores, like Goodwill and Salvation Army, will accept old VHS tapes, as many collectors will visit these locations to find a movie that they’re looking for, and you might be able to profit from this option. You also won’t need to worry about paying shipping fees or properly packaging them.

4. eBay or Craigslist

eBay website shown on laptop screen
Image Credit: Oberon Copeland, Unsplash

If you want to profit from your old VHS tapes, you can try to sell them online. eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook have marketplaces where you can try to sell your old VHS tapes. These sites enable you to sell to local communities or abroad for a larger market.

5. Library

person in a library
Image Credit: Becca Tapert, Unsplash

A library is a good option for giving movies away free of charge. Many libraries will be happy to take the tapes off your hands to improve their collection, and the tapes will get plenty of use because people tend to watch them frequently. The library will also know how to properly get rid of them when the time comes.

6. Giving Them Away

person drawing a heart on the label of a VHS tape
Image Credit: cottonbro studio, Pexels

If you can’t find any place to sell your tapes, we recommend contacting your friends to see if anyone will take them off your hands for free. If there are movies that they haven’t seen and they have a VCR, they might put the old movies to more use before the tapes go into the trash.

7. Crafts

If you are handy, you can use VHS tapes as small plastic boards in a DIY bookshelf or other projects. Super glue or something similar to create a strong bond will result in a project that will likely last many years.

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Unfortunately, due to their plastic and metal construction, there’s no good way to recycle old VHS tapes. Greendisc is likely the best option, but it requires you to mail in the tapes, so it can be expensive. You might be able to make money selling the tapes online, but that requires a significant amount of work. Thrift stores require minimal effort, will likely accept all your tapes at once, and might even give you a few dollars for them. If all else fails, donate them to the library or your friends, or create a bookshelf to store your new media.

Featured Image Credit By: Катерина Санна, Pexels


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