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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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