How to Recycle or Dispose of Video and Audio Cassette Tapes

How to Get Rid of Old VHS Tapes and Audio Cassettes?

The Best Ways to Recycle / Dispose of Audio Cassettes, VHS Tapes, and more


Have you tried to declutter your space only to find you have stacks upon stacks of VHS tapes and no idea what to do with them? While VHS tapes and other cassettes were once all the rage, they’ve largely disappeared thanks to the rise of Digital mp4 files and DVDs. Now, people find themselves wondering what to do with their old movie and audio collections.

What about just throwing your tapes in the trash bin? Well, video and cassette tapes are a specific kind of waste commonly referred to as “e-waste” or electronic waste. The inner Mylar plastic tape contains multiple toxic metals and chemicals which will leach out into the soil and water if taken to normal landfills. Furthermore, the outer plastic shell will take centuries to break down.



Since you cannot simply recycle or throw away old Video and Audio Cassettes, we’ve put together a list of ways you can get rid of your old tapes:

1. Find companies who specifically recycle e-waste

The good news is there are a ton of facilities who focus entirely on recycling electronic waste! Most of the time there will be local companies who you can drop off your tapes to. If you’re not sure where an e-waste location is near you, you can visit Earth 911, Recycle Nation, or Green Disk. These sites will find recycling locations near you and can also help you find pick-up services. However, if you would rather ship your tapes, you can use Green Citizen – a website which lets you mail in your tapes for recycling. 

2. Make a donation

Some thrift stores are still taking old videotapes and audio cassettes. Before you go, make sure to call your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc.. to see if they’re still accepting these items. If you have any educational or commercial movies, libraries would be a great place to contact to see if they accept any donations. Some museums may also take old videotapes either for educational or artistic purposes. 

3. Make some money

Some VHS Tapes and audio cassettes may have value or be collectors items. This is most likely the case for commercial items. You can use eBay or Craigslist to list your tapes on. You can even find yard sales in your area to sell your tapes at or just have a yard sale of your own! Local vintage music shops or record stores may also buy back your old video tapes or audio cassette tapes.

4. Give your video and audio tapes away

If the other options seem too daunting or haven’t worked out, you can simply list your cassette tapes for free on the Craigslist Free Section or Freecycle.



Before you get rid of all your video and audio tapes, make sure you have your precious memories saved!


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