9 Best Ways: How to Dispose of VHS Tapes

If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, chances are you have mountains of VHS tapes hidden somewhere in your house. A single tape can hold 1,410 feet of footage, according to TechSpot – which partly explains why their such annoyingly difficult things to get rid of. Production of VHS tapes ceased in 2008, and players stopped being made in 2012; these relics are as dead as a dodo. 

DVDs and streaming services long ago usurped tapes as the preferred movie format. If you have VHS tapes and are wondering what to do with them, don’t worry, this blog post will discuss some ways how to dispose of VHS Tapes. Recycling is possible!

Old VHS Tapes
Image Credit: digitalconverters.co.uk

What Are VHS Tapes Made From?

VHS tapes, which were once the standard for home video entertainment, are composed of several different materials. The cassette shell or case is typically made of #5 plastic, which is a common plastic used for packaging and is also known as polypropylene. The tape itself is made of Mylar plastic, which is coated with a magnetic oxide material that allows for the recording and playback of video and audio. 

The magnetic tape inside the VHS cassette also contains various metals, including chromium and iron oxide, which are used to create the magnetic properties necessary for recording and playback. While VHS tapes were once a popular format for home video, their use has declined significantly in recent years due to the advent of digital technology.

How to Dispose of VHS Tapes?

There are a few different ways to get rid of your old VHS tapes, some are discussed below:

1. Throw Them Away

The first is to throw them away, but this is not the best option. The problem with throwing away VHS tapes is that they’re not biodegradable. They’re also made of plastic, which means they’ll sit in a landfill for years.

2. Recycling

Recycling is the second option. Recycling tapes isn’t as easy as throwing them away, but it’s much better than throwing them away. VHS tapes need to be taken to a special recycling center that accepts electronic waste. You can find your nearest center by searching on the internet.

Greendisk is a recycling organization that accepts all types of old electronics, such as VHS tapes, CDs, Cassette tapes, Floppy Disks, and DVDs. There are several additional items that they will also accept. For further information, go to their website.

3. Upcycle VHS Tapes

You can also upcycle the VHS Tapes. To do this, find a creative way to reuse them rather than discard them. One popular way to upcycle VHS tapes is to turn them into coasters. You can find instructions for how to do this by searching online.

4. Where to Give Away VHS Tapes

VHS tapes are a thing of the past. With the advent of DVD and Blu-ray, movies and TV shows are now being released only in digital formats. As a result, many people are looking for ways to get rid of their old VHS tapes. You can donate them to a local thrift store, sell them online, or give them away for free. Here are a few to consider:

5. Donate to Goodwill

Goodwill gladly accepts donations of VHS tapes. Use their website’s search tool to find a Goodwill near you. Once you’ve found a location, simply take your tapes to the donation center. Goodwill accepts all types of donations, so you can be sure that your tapes will go to a good cause.

Plus, donating to Goodwill is a great way to declutter your home and make a difference in your community. So next time you’re looking to get rid of some old VHS tapes, be sure to consider Goodwill as an option.

6. Sell Online on eBay or Amazon

You can list your tapes on sites like eBay or Amazon, and there’s a good chance that someone out there is willing to pay for them. Even if you don’t make a lot of money, it’s a great way to clear out some space in your home. So, before you get rid of your old tapes, see if you can give them new life by selling them online. 

7. Craigslist or Freecycle

If no one is willing to pay for your tapes, the next best thing you can do is offer them for free. You may post your videos on Craigslist or Freecycle. If you’re not interested in making any money off of them, you could always give them away for free.

Just make sure that you include a clear description of the condition of your tapes, and you should be able to find someone willing to take them off your hands. Who knows – maybe they’ll even appreciate them more than you do!

8. Library

Libraries at colleges and community centers might have VHS tapes available for viewing. Check with your local libraries to discover what kinds of things they’ll accept. You might be surprised at how happy they are to take them off your hands.

Not only will you declutter your home, but you’ll also be allowing others to watch movies that might not be available in any other format. It’s a win-win situation!

9. Methods to Repurpose VHS Tapes

You can repurpose VHS tapes in the same way that you would anything else. You don’t need to toss them out; instead, you can repurpose them for another purpose and avoid sending them to our landfills. All it takes is a fraction of effort and creativity. Here are some suggestions to get you started:

  • VHS football table
  • Scarecrow
  • Storage case
  • Purse
  • Bookend

Importance to Recycle VHS Tapes

Proper disposal of VHS tapes is crucial due to the hazardous materials contained within them. The magnetic tape, made from Mylar plastic, is coated with metals classified as hazardous waste. In addition, the remainder of the tape is composed of #5 plastic which decomposes very slowly, taking centuries to break down.

However, recycling VHS tapes poses a challenge because of their composition. They cannot be disposed of in regular plastic recycling or landfill bins. If VHS tapes are left in landfills for prolonged periods, the toxic metals they contain may permeate the soil.

Reasons You May Want to Get Rid of Your VHS Tapes

There are several reasons why you might want to dispose of your VHS tapes. Perhaps you have already digitized their contents and now wish to clear space by getting rid of the physical copies. 

Alternatively, the tapes may have been damaged and are no longer playable. If you have multiple copies of the content on the tapes, you may no longer need them. Additionally, you may have never used blank tapes that are no longer of any use to you. Finally, you may simply feel that it is time to let go of the tapes and move on from them.


So, when it comes to old VHS tapes, there are a few different options for what to do with them. You can recycle them, upcycle them, or give them away. No matter what you choose, disposing of your old VHS tapes is a good way to declutter your home and do your part for the environment.


Should I throw away my VHS tapes?

Household hazardous waste comprises VHS tapes and audio tapes, which can be disposed of if they can’t be reused or recycled.

How do you destroy old VHS tapes?

Secure e-waste destruction is one of the most effective methods to destroy a VHS tape. The difficulty with disposing of tape media is that it is not biodegradable, thus it will end up in landfills for hundreds of years.

Do magnets destroy VHS?

The use of magnets in VHS technology is two-fold, as they are used both to record and erase information on the magnetic tape. This is because VHS tapes utilize an iron oxide formula, which makes them highly vulnerable to magnetic interference. Exposure to magnetic damage renders a VHS tape almost always beyond repair.

Will water destroy VHS tapes?

The magnetic recordings on ferric oxide tapes, like VHS tapes, cannot be damaged by water alone. However, the resistance to damage can vary depending on the size of the tape.

Generally, larger to medium-sized tapes are more resilient to damage than very small tapes. Furthermore, older analog tapes tend to be more resistant to damage compared to newer ones.

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