Recycling Old Video Tapes: Putting Past Technology to Rest and Making Room for New


Times change, and so does technology. Over the years, we amass collections of obsolete media formats, like VHS tapes, as new technology takes over. But what do we do with our outdated collections taking up space in the closet or basement? Recycling old video tapes is a confusing matter. Read on to clear up the confusion in order to put past technology to rest and replace it with more durable digital versions that demand less space.

Keep the Content Before Recycling Old Video Tapes

First, make sure any music or memories worth saving are properly preserved. Let a professional create digital versions that are easy to access and share. If you rather do it yourself, look into the various converters, equipment, and software available to help you do the job. Once the copies are made, decide whether or not you have room to store the originals as backups. Ready to get rid of them? Here’s what you need to know about recycling old video tapes.

The Truth About Recycling Old Video Tapes

Video tapes are made up of various materials. The cases are plastic, but many companies don’t find it cost effective to recycle them. The tape inside is not recyclable. Furthermore, it’s coated with toxic substances that contaminate landfill soil when breaking down. Considered e-waste, the magnetic tape is only recycled by certain companies. Try looking online for places that accept e-waste, like and These websites help locate places for recycling various materials, but some information may be outdated.

Can I Sell My Old Media?

Your old collection collects dust now, so why not sell it for cash and clear out the closet? A few people still use the outdated media and have working equipment (no longer manufactured) on which to play the tapes. Although it’s a lot easier to find homes for odd items online, not many VHS tapes are worth much today. Cult classics and special editions are sometimes the exception. Try sites like eBay, Craig’s List, and Amazon. But be willing to put in the time and effort, and keep expectations low.

Get Creative: Repurposing Tapes

No need to toss out your old tapes. With a little imagination, make them into something new from bookends to bird feeders. The entire cassette functions as building blocks for furniture, shelving, or art sculptures. The tape inside has many uses, too. Look on Etsy for ideas such as knitting purses and making jewelry. Decorating a scarecrow with the unraveled tape material helps keep animals away from the garden. And the case makes a great container for jewelry, art supplies, and loose screws.

We Can Help

Old video tape collections are in danger. Extreme temperatures, dust, dirt, handling, moisture, and even time speed up the degradation process. Preserve your memories before it is too late. Call Disc Hounds at 610-696-8668. We’ll transfer old formats to digital to keep your memories alive and easy to access for years to come.