For many people living in this new digital age, video tapes have now become obsolete and are taking up valuable storage space in homes. While technology has moved on from VHS, the physical video tapes are still left behind, which can leave many wandering what to do with their old VHS tapes.
Additionally, as we collectively become more environmentally conscious and want to dispose of our belongings in an eco-friendlier way, it raises questions like ‘how to dispose of VHS tapes properly’ and ‘can you even recycle video tapes’?
Fortunately, there are a few different ways to get rid of your old tapes and even in a sustainable way!
Can you Recycle Video Tapes?
Video tapes are notoriously hard to recycle, and you can’t throw them out in normal household recycling, as they will most likely end up in landfill, which is not good for the environment.
Although the outer casing of a VHS tape is made of plastic, it is coated in hazardous metals such as chromium, iron oxide and others. These metals are toxic to the environment and can seep out into the surrounding ground when disposed of in landfill.
The easiest way to find out if you can recycle your video tapes is to check with your local waste recycling centre. If your local centre won’t take them, you can still recycle through some independent companies, who take old video tapes and salvage the reusable parts. Companies such as GreenDisk and Butterfly Garden will dispose responsibly, so you don’t have to worry about damaging the environment.
How else to dispose of VHS tapes?
If you’re struggling to find places to recycle, there are plenty of other things that you can do to get rid of your video tapes.
If the tapes that you’re trying to dispose of could be sought after movies or even just blank tapes, you can always sell them on sites like eBay. While this may be more difficult and time consuming as not every movie will be valuable and of course the tapes have to be in good condition, it is a sustainable method of disposal, and you could even make a profit!
Check with your local charity shop before trying to donate any VHS tapes, as certain ones may not accept them. However, if they do, donating to charity is a great way to clear out some space, while also contributing to the community and helping someone find joy in what you longer have use for!
Upcycling, which is also known as creative use means taking waste or unwanted products and turning them into something new such as art pieces or furniture. This is a fantastic and sustainable way to dispose of your unwanted VHS tapes and with the added bonus of making something new that you can actually use!
While this may only seem like an option for the creatively gifted, there are plenty of easy ideas for how to dispose of vhs tapes through upcycling such as creating wall art, shelves, or planters with the plastic casings. Additionally, the plastic film inside of the cases can be used outside over a piece of garden or vegetable patch to ward off birds.
Hopefully this has provided a few ideas on how to dispose of VHS tapes in a more sustainable way and has also inspired you on what to do with old VHS tapes when upcycling them. So, there’s no need to worry next time you want to have a spring clean or clear out some storage!
Remember that you can use our video transfer service to convert any valuable videos that you want to keep into a digital file before you decide to get rid of or recycle video tapes. Get in touch with us to convert and clear out your tapes today!
Photo credit: Josh Chiodo