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How to Recycle Those Old VHS Tapes

John Platt, March 18, 2014

Last month, deep in a closet, I came across a big surprise: box after box of old VHS tapes. I don't know why we still had them -- we haven't even owned a VCR in years -- but I think we just forgot about them and left them to gather dust.

But once they were found, it was time to get rid of them. We didn't want to throw them away -- that would just add a ton of e-waste to the local landfill. And many of them could still have a lifespan even though we didn't want them.

So I set out to get rid of the tapes by finding people who could use some of them and recycling the rest.

Our first trip was to the local library. Many of the older patrons in this town, and maybe yours too, still use their VCRs quite heavily, as do the vacationers who have cabins here and haven't upgraded to DVD yet. Our library stocks a supply of video tapes for patrons, and also runs a very nice used book store which sells tapes for a few bucks each. So a box of tapes went there.

Next stop was another nearby thrift shop, which also sells used VHS tapes. They took another box. (Did I mention that we had a lot of video tapes?)

A few rarities (old horror movies and the like) went up on eBay or Amazon's Marketplace. There wasn't a huge market for these flicks, but collectors did pick up a few movies that that aren't available on DVD for one reason or another.
 
That got rid of 99% of our pre-recorded tapes. But we also had several boxes of movies and TV shows that we had taped off the airwaves. You can't sell or give those things away, but we didn't want to chuck them in the trash, so it was time to look into recycling.

GreenDisk served our purposes pretty well. They'll take a 30 pound box for $6.95, and every additional pound costs just 30 cents. The price goes toward a shipping label, and you send them your video tapes (or anything from a whole list of products) for recycling.

There, problem solved! Give it a shot yourself. Free up some space, put old tapes to good re-use, and keep that trash out of the landfill in the process!

Tags: Daily Green, E-waste, Electronics, Garbage, Green Central, Recycling

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