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Because You Asked

How Do I Recycle My VHS Tapes?

By Recyclebank |

Even though VHS tapes passed out of wide use years ago, we’re still unearthing them from forgotten corners of our houses.

Dear Recyclebank,

How do I recycle my VHS tapes? I live in Massachusetts and I’m not sure which, if any, thrift stores will take these.

-Karen S., Canton, MA


Dear Karen,

Some thrift stores still accept VHS tapes, and it does look like Goodwill centers in Massachusetts take them. You could also try donating them to your local library. However, it’s true that the market for tapes is dwindling away to nonexistence. It can’t be too long before thrift stores stop accepting them.

As for recycling tapes, it’s tricky. They contain several kinds of materials, including multiple types of plastic, the numbers of which aren’t usually indicated. Even if you knew which components were recyclable, disassembly would be required, which would be problematic if you are trying to get rid of a large number of tapes. Your best option for recycling them is to send them to GreenDisk, an e-cycling company based in Washington. They remove the Mylar magnetic tape, then crush and consolidate the plastic so it can be used to make other products.

Made How – Videotape
GreenDisk – What Happens to My Technotrash


Do you have obsolete technology lying around your house? How will you e-cycle it?

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  • tommy b. 10 days ago
  • Sue S. 12 days ago
    You may be able to place them with individuals via FreeCycle. I had over 60 VHS tapes with the Triple Crown races on them. Someone wanted what was ON the tape vs. the tapes themselves.
  • Sue C. 13 days ago
    I have many VHS tapes that I never tossed in the trash when they were
    being considered obsolete. I was considering donating them but at this point that probably would not be the best way to deal with them. I have heard of Green Disk for recycling materials of this kind. Also, you may want to consider Terracycle but both charge for their services based on how much you are looking to send to them.
    • Barbara B. 12 days ago
      If you have to PAY to send them something they want ,then it looks like they have more to gain.
  • Felix l. 13 days ago
    I have 75 VHS tapes, 105 Veta tapes, 95 cassettes tape, and 175 LP plastic record. I still use them and all my machines still in a very good working condition. Plus I have my original Nintendo NES Console with about 55 games, a Magnavox odysey 1972, and classic Atari 2600. I'm 61 year old and I still play Pac-Man, my favorite game. I still have my tube radio ant tv. my children want to sell every thing but they have to wait until I die, ha, ha, ha my family life is over 90 years old, so they have to wait at least 30 years more before I die because I'm very healthy.
  • Steven S. 13 days ago
    From my understanding VHS tapes are actually becoming collectable. You'd be hard pressed to find a working VHS player these days. You can still find a few DVD/VHS players. Cassette tapes are becoming very collectable as well believe it or not. Either way we should recycle these rather than throwing them in the waste bin. Repurpose them or donate etc.
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