Let’s face it. VHS tapes are officially a thing of the past. We can all remember sliding a VHS into the player and it miraculously remembering where we left off in the movie, but we have to admit DVD stole the spotlight. Not only that, but even DVDs are becoming obsolete thanks to On Demand streaming nowadays. So what do we do with our trusty old VHS tapes?
VHS tapes can be recycled, donated, sold, and even repurposed into something new. There are plenty of places to drop off unwanted tapes as well as many ideas found online as to how to turn them into other, more useful objects which will keep them out of landfills.
So what are some of the easiest or best ways to get rid of these VHS tapes? Where do you go? Keep reading to learn the most viable options for you.
Do Not Dump
So first things first: why can’t I just put my VHS collection into the trash and be done with it? Why do I have to go through all this trouble? Well, VHS tapes are considered to be magnetic media meaning it is a form of recorded analog or digital information that is recorded to and retrieved from a coated magnetized matrix. Other magnetic media include cassettes and computer tapes.
Why does that matter? There are multiple rules surrounding the disposal of any items, especially hazardous or potentially dangerous items. The tape in the VHS is coated in metals like chromium which shouldn’t end up in a landfill. While your VHS is not toxic right now, there is enough toxic metal contained in the tape that once it starts to break down, it can become dangerous. For this reason, VHS tapes are classified as electronic waste, “e-waste.”
While you might find in a quick google search that the best way to get rid of magnetized media is through burning it, this is not recommended. As mentioned above, the tape could release toxins once it starts breaking down which could lead to toxic smoke or poisonous gases. Burning anything is bad for the environment in the first place and burning toxic waste would cause even more damage.
For these reasons, it is best to go about disposing of your VHS tapes in one of these four ways.
Your local waste center will know how to deal with all different kinds of trash. They will most likely have a designated plan for what they want you to do with your e-waste specifically. Call or visit their website to find out more details.
Greendisk is an organization that focuses on recycling electronic waste. They collect all old e-waste including VHS tapes, cassette tapes, DVDs, CDs, Floppy Disks, and even more items not listed. They offer to pack and ship your items for you or you can handle that part of the process yourself. Be aware that there is a fee that comes with this service, with the fee being much larger if they ship it for you. However, overall this is a great service and option for getting rid of your e-waste.
Green Citizen is another service not unlike Greendisk. They offer ship in, drop off, and pick-up of your items. They also do not limit their services to e-waste. They recycle styrofoam and many other products in an effort to make our Earth more environmentally healthy.
Local thrift stores can be a great place both to find and to donate old items that might still have value. Call your local thrift store about your VHS tapes and see if they can take them!
Deseret Industries and Goodwill
These two donation organizations are similar in that they take almost everything that you can think of to donate. They have drop-off locations all around the United States and are a great option if you are wanting to get rid of your VHS tapes as soon as possible.
Freecycle is a trade-like website that lets you put your items onto a listing and offer them to people for free. It is similar to craigslist in format and foundation, but is always free to use and free to give!
Some libraries are discontinuing their collection of VHS tapes but it never hurts to try your local library to see if they will still take them. Libraries often welcome donations readily and will be more than willing to take your VHS tapes off your hands.
eBay and Amazon
You can sell your VHS tapes here if you want to make a profit from them. It is easy to use eBay to sell used items and things you want to get rid of, and Amazon can be helpful with this as well. Just be aware that since you are not selling things that find much use nowadays, it will be hard to actually make a large amount of money from this method.
Facebook Marketplace is almost identical to the eBay option, however, it is more likely you will find other people selling similar items. As long as you keep your prices reasonable, there is a good chance you could get rid of your VHS tapes as well as make a little coffee money.
There is a chance a VHS tape in your collection is actually worth a bit of money. While not all tapes will be collectibles or valuable now, it is always worth trying. Check out Flipsy.com, a website that keeps track of the most desired VHS tapes to see if you have any winners.
If you are creative or know someone who could use them as materials, make some art out of your old tapes! Some ideas other people have tried are making them into a chic table, mounting them on the wall for a unique bookshelf look, or even making them into picture frames! The possibilities are endless when you use your imagination. Try brainstorming and you’ll have a project in no time.
Hollowing out a VHS tape could make for a great and unsuspecting hiding place for valuables. If you need a place to keep jewelry or money away from people, be it intruders or guests, or children, this could be a great fix!
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