Go the Extra Mile To Recycle VHS Tapes

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What to do with all those VHS tapes

It can be tricky to find a place that will recycle your video tapes because not many people use them anymore! There is not much profit for reusing the tapes, so companies don’t bother collecting them. But there ARE a few places that accept them, plus plenty of other neat ways to recycle VHS tapes.

Donate Them

Now that your old movie favorites have long since been converted to DVDs, if you want to get rid of that clutter, you can always drop off your old VHS cassette tapes at your nearest Goodwill or other thrift store. Have you ever noticed how many stacks of old tapes they have lying around? You never know, that movie you saw 10 years ago in the theater might be someone’s treasure.

Recycled VHS Tape Bags

Recycled VHS tape bag
Photo courtesy of Cindy at MyRecycledBags.com

If you really want to be inspired, see our interview with Cindy of MyRecycledBags, who crocheted a designer bag out of VHS tape. She also makes other neat upcycled VHS tape crafts that you need to see! This photo is courtesy of Cindy, and here is her website: MyRecycledBags.com. We are proud to promote Cindy’s work, and hope you will check it out and buy something from her because her crafts are great! Learn some of her tips and tricks and get one-of-a-kind advice- Don’t miss an Exclusive Interview with her at this link: Playing With Plarn.

The VHS tote bag below is also made from recycled video tapes and cotton yarn. Your purchase of the bag upholds Fair Trade principles, meaning it’s a good deal and fair wages for the people that produce your stuff. Nice find! Check out other cool recycled gifts that reduce the need for new resources while increasing demand for used and recycled products..

Recycle VHS tape
VHS tape can be recycled into tote bags.

Mail VHS Tapes To Be Recycled

Now that your old movie favorites have long since been converted to DVDs, if you want to get rid of that clutter, you can send your old VHS tapes and cassettes to Green Disk. If you have VHS tapes to be recycled, you’ve probably got other junk too. Green Disk can be your place. They accept all forms of electronic media and their cases: diskettes, zip disks, CDs, CD-Rs, CD-RWs, DVDs, audio tape, game cartridges- you name it!

VHS tapes can be also recycled at Back Thru The Future as well. We will refrain from mentioning Marty McFly and instead report that this New Jersey facility will accept your old video tapes and shred them. Keep in mind, the tape itself is not reusable, nor is it recyclable so that portion of the material goes to a landfill. The plastic and the metal (some VHS tapes have little metal parts to them) are sorted into their respective bins. These materials go to metals and plastics refiners for processing, since they do no do any on-site smelting or reprocessing of the material there. You pay the cost of shipping to the address on their website, and they also accept CDs and their jewel cases.

ACT’s Recycling Program

VHS tapes can be recycled.

Alternative Community Training (ACT) offers individuals with disabilities a chance to gain employment, and offers another option for recycling VHS tape. Their Missouri headquarters and production floor employ over 50 people in erasing and repackaging donated video cassettes and floppy disks. By donating your old VHS tapes to ACT, you are not only saving money but you are also providing disabled individuals with career opportunities and helping them make their own money.

To submit your donation of video tapes, simply complete the online form on their website.

If you have time, you can read more about their mission to support to individuals with disabilities as they become full and valued members of the community.


So cool! Drop spin the tape on a loom- Kristy Medina from Textiles4you explains how:


Finally, Laura Labrin is another award-winning Textile Design artist that hand-weaves videotape by stretching it, and as it is pulled on, it becomes a thin yarn, just like the video shown above. Despite how it seems fragile, it’s actually quite workable and strong.

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12 Responses to Go the Extra Mile To Recycle VHS Tapes

  1. We love this article. We have been trying different ways to bring cool recycled yarn and other things that can be knit or crocheted with to crafters. Fantastic bag from My Recycled Bags, very inspiring.

  2. I have a lot of old vcr tapes that my my had to tape movies, don’t want to put them in the trash and want to get rid of them Help!

  3. im concerned that the multi-billion corporations that distributed this media have no programs or corporate responsibility to ethically dispose of these tapes. Moreover, there is nothing in the media about this abdication of responsibility, presumably because the entertainment industry owns the media.

  4. We take vhs tapes and we recycle them. People from all over the U.S. mail them to us to be recycled. We use almost every part of the tape. However we are so overwhelmed right now that we cannot take any until we get caught up processing them.Check us out on BeGreenMinded.com,earth911 or disneyfamily.com

  5. I live in Canada,Moose Jaw,SK to be exact.We have no place to recycle VHS tapes and I have many and could collect even more if I knew where to send them to recycle.
    We have SARCAn which takes most of our returnable bottles,cans,etc. and employs people to do the work.Is there money to be made in recycling VHS tapes?,if so,I can mention to SARCAN to contact you to find how they can employ more people and make money.
    Looking forward to a reply.
    Brock crylser
    Moose Jaw,SK Canada

  6. Unfortunately VHS tapes are un-recyclable. They cannot be transformed into anything useful, and the energy expended to attempt to do so would be more taxing on the resources/environment (because of the chemicals) than just simply tossing them out. It’s a sad fact that we have to live with.

    We all just need to cut down on consumerism and be environmentally responsible in every other aspect of our lives.

  7. do you now who would like old vhs tapes we have over 5oo and are in flanders nj they were donated to our church and do not want to throw them away

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