How to Recycle, Reuse and Rid Yourself of VHS Tapes

By: Josh Peterson, Planet Green  | 
vhs tapes photo

When VHS was big, I collected movies. I had a giant collection spanning several shelves, then a new device came out called a DVD player. Everyone started ditching the VHS tapes faster than you could say Spats Malone. Eventually, I too, acquired a DVD player. But I never really collected movies the way I did when I had a VHS player. I suppose it had a lot to do with the different set of priorities in my life. I had to support myself and go to college, and owning a DVD copy of a movie I'd seen 100 times just wasn't that important anymore.

What can you do with those old VHS tapes? Personally, I unloaded mine at a local bookstore that dealt in VHS tapes. But there are more ubiquitous ways to rid yourself of this outdated technology. Here are some options.


1. Thrift Stores

Most thrift stores will accept donations of VHS tapes.


2. Green Disk

Green Disk will recycle your old VHS tapes for you.


3. Freecycle

Offer your VHS tapes on Freecycle and hope somebody else wants them.


4. Make Scarecrows

A few commentors on RecycleThis claim that you can use VHS tapes to keep birds out of your garden. Snip the tape and unravel it. The fluttering, black tape will scare birds away.


5. Knit With the Tape has more than one example of a bag made out of old VHS tape.


Originally Published: Dec 6, 2011

Recycling VHS Tapes FAQs

How do I dispose of VHS tapes?
When looking to dispose VHS tapes, you should consider donating them to thrift stores; recycling them at places like or; or upcycling them. You can also consider donating them to your local library or shelter.
Are old VHS tapes worth anything?
VHS tapes don't have much value today. You can expect to sell these to collectors for about 50 cents each.
Can I throw VHS tapes in the garbage?
While VHS tapes aren't necessarily considered hazardous, it's a better idea to try to recycle, upcycle or donate them than toss them in the landfill.