Are VHS Tapes Recyclable? (And What To Do With Old Tapes)

One of the things that bring back old memories is music. For a reason, we don’t forget how we were held bound by great old artists’ voices. It is fun even recalling those days now. But, while recalling those days, we again remember where the music and other entertaining videos got stored.

Unlike now, you are connected to the world where with a tap of your iPhone, you can access everything you need. In those days, we had a VHS tape to store gauge for audios and videos. We do not doubt that some of you still have them lurking in your rooms or your offices. If you didn’t use it, your parents or grandparents probably did. But who used it is not the issue now?

We are concerned about what you can use them for. If you look at the mid-sized storage gauge, there’s probably no vital use for them.

However, in this post, we reveal that all hope about the VHS tapes is not lost. Is it possible for you to recycle them? Can you even get money from them? Or is there any other creative thing you can do with the VHS tapes?  These are all important questions. And we will answer them here.

Dive in!

Can You Recycle Old VHS Tapes?

You might have recently decided to clean up your house or offices, and you stumble again on your pack of VHS tapes. You don’t even have the means of playing back the old recordings. Well, that’s an advancement for you. The world has moved on to better things. It would help if you also moved on.

And moving on entails deciding on what you want to do with your VHS tapes. One of the easiest things to come up with is recycling them. But, is it possible to recycle those old VHS tapes? Let’s consider it.

The good news is that you can always recycle your VHS tapes. But, first, let’s consider a salient point. Why do you even need to recycle the VHS tapes?

It is important you do this because of the VHS materials. Many or even all the materials used to make VHS materials are plastic. Some parts of the VHS tapes have iron coatings. Unfortunately, these materials do not degrade on time, so you must save the environment by recycling them. That’s it; it’s all for the sake of the environment we all live in.

Now, you can recycle your VHS tapes. However, there are still things to note. Not all parts of the VHS tapes are easily recyclable. This is because the parts are not the same. While the exterior is plastic material, the interior is Mylar material (a kind of polythene product).

This diversity makes it quite difficult to recycle easily. This, however, does not mean you can’t recycle them. While the external part, which is the plastic material, is easily recycled, the inner part is not. Recyclers have often complained about the difficulty of breaking down the Mylar materials.

Aside from this, recycling companies say it costs more to finish recycling the Mylar materials in the VHS tapes. Hence, it sounds economically wise for recycling centers not to attempt to recycle the inner materials. Or, in some cases, to limit the frequency of recycling the Mylar materials.

Nonetheless, if you are planning on recycling your VHS tapes, here’s what to do. You need to first confirm with your local recycling center if it accepts the VHS tapes for recycling. If it does, then you can bag the old tales and take it over there. Or you can ask for a pick-up service to come and get it from your place.

So, that’s it. There are not many difficulties with recycling the VHS tapes. So, it is better to recycle the VHS tapes to save the environment.

Can You Throw Away Old VHS Tapes in the Garbage?

You would almost think that since the VHS tapes are no longer in use, you can dispose of them the way you want. If this is your thought, you are mistaken.

We know it is quite easy to toss the old VHS tapes in the garbage, but don’t do this. Here’s the reason.

The VHS tapes are majorly plastic and polythene materials. If you toss them in the garbage, the chances are that they will all get to the landfills. This is where the problems are. Because the VHS tapes are plastic and polythene material, they won’t decompose faster.

The plastic materials, for example, can take up to a hundred years before decomposing. Even after that, it doesn’t erase finally. It only breaks down to microplastic. The same issue applies to the Mylar polythene material. They also take up to a century to break down.

The implication of this is that the environment is continuously endangered. For instance, the VHS tapes could be washed off to the river or other places. Where this happens, it can cause harm to marine life. It can make the soil lose its fertility and stunt plants’ growth.

So, you can see that while it may look easy and cheap to toss the VHS tapes in the garbage, the ripple effect is great. They can constantly endanger our environment. Of course, this is not what any of us want. So, it is better to cultivate the habit of recycling the old VHS tapes.

There is even a better way to get rid of your old VHS tape and still make money from it. This sounds cool to everyone. So, keep calm; we will get to that in a moment.

Source: Canva

Can You Burn Old VHS Tapes?

Like throwing your old VHS tapes in the garbage, burning them, too, look easy. But, like we have pointed out against disposing of your VHS tapes, you should not also burn your old VHS tapes.

If we consider burning things generally, we would see that it is not advisable to burn things openly. Burning things is not environmentally friendly. In the same way, you should not consider burning your VHS tapes.

Some have said that burning is an excellent way to erase the data on the VHS tapes, but you can do this through other means. You can use a powerful magnet to rearrange the data and make it unreadable. Or you can even send it for recycling. These ways, you would have gotten rid of your data instead of using a match. Always stay clear from burning things.

Asides from this, the implication of burning things is very unfriendly to the environment. For instance, when you burn your VHS tapes, you release some toxic fumes into the environment. These fumes contaminate and pollute the air you breathe in. When this happens, we endanger the health of many people.

Another thing is that we might not completely burn them, which is often the case. This can cause additional damage to the environment. For example, the remaining particles could find their way to the nearby river. Fish and other aquatic animals could eat them. This can cause problems for them.

Again, when we burn the VHS tapes on the soil, we are reducing soil fertility. The ripple effect of this is that it will affect plants’ growth. This can go a long way to affect food security for the population.

So, you see that burning your VHS tapes is not the way to go from all angles possible. If you have been doing this, you have been endangering the environment unknowingly. This is the best time for you to stop it.

How to Get Rid of VHS Tapes for Money?

In this 21st century, making money has become very easy. But this is to the extent that you know how to go about it.

If you have a home or offices full of VHS tapes, you can make money from them. The good news is that you would make money while also getting rid of the old VHS tapes.

In this segment, we explain everything you need to know about VHS tapes and make money. If you are ready, let’s go.

First, let’s talk about the stores still willing to offer you money in exchange for your VHS tapes. Those tapes are ancient, so you can’t easily find stores that want VHS tapes.

But, trust us to do our research and give you the right answer you need.

Where to Sell

You can sell your VHS tapes on Amazon, Vintage Markets, or even by simply browsing through your Facebook page. Precisely, you might come across some groups where they discuss VHS tapes and old recordings. And who knows? You might find a serious buyer for your VHS tapes.

Things to Take Note When Selling Your VHS Tapes

First, you need to put up the scarce VHS tapes and recordings for sale. You know the high school economic rule that demand rises when supply is scarce. By putting out the VHS materials that are difficult to find around, you can raise your money. This way, you only need to sell to the highest bidder.

Asides from this, you can find museums or ancient stores that might want to offer you some money for your VHS tapes. The thing is for you to up your negotiation skills. This will make you get the best deal for your VHS tapes.

So, don’t lose hope just yet. You can still make some money from your old VHS tapes. You only need to look well and follow the things we have said in this segment. You can be sure to find the best deal for yourself.

What Can You Do with Old VHS Tapes? (Ways to Reuse)

There are many ways to reuse your old VHS tapes. If you don’t want to sell them or recycle them yet, you can still make them work for you. Here are a few creative ways to do that.

1. Make Scarecrows

One of the easy things you can use your VHS tapes makes a scarecrow on your farm. This would help you keep birds and other pests away from your plants. It would also save you money and save your animals from destroying your plants.

2. Knit with It

Many people have reported the ease and beauty of knitting with your VHS tapes. You may also want to try this out. It gives you surplus room to be creative with your design, and since you don’t have to pay for it, you can be as creative as you want.

3. Make a VHS Table

A VHS table is always a beauty to behold. The problem is just that it takes a lot of time to construct. And you require many VHS tapes to achieve this goal. So, if you have the time and the materials, you can give it a try. You would thank yourself for doing this.


Your VHS tapes bring back memories, but it is high time you do something about them. You can recycle them, sell them, or use them creatively for other things. The ball is in your court. It would be best if you did not handle them carelessly in a way that causes harm to the environment. Please help us save the environment by doing this right.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.