How can I reuse or recycle audio cassette tapes?

Audio cassette tapeI’ve recently been clearing out loads of old stuff from my obsessive teen fandom of a certain, ahem, fluffy-haired band. Ebay is currently in the process of loving me because I’m halfway there, selling my previously collected tshirts, vinyl and assorted memorabilia. (Some might even say, I’m living on a prayer with all the proceeds.)

Given my obsession started before I got a cd player in my bedroom, I bought all their early albums on cassette tapes and just about stretched them to breaking point with repeat playing. While the vinyl has lasted – and sold – well, I fear the cassette tapes are beyond the point of passing them on to someone else.

So what else can I do with them? Is the tape reusable? And if so, any ideas?

Best Suggestions

  • Pass Them On: Some people still use them – for both listening to and recording – so it’s probably worth checking to see whether your local charity/thrift shop still accepts them or offering them on Freecycle. Some charities also collect them for reuse for recording spoken newsletters and the like – see the comments below.
  • Reuse: Tapes are very retro-stylish at the moment and people are using the plastic bits to make belt buckles, bags and other decorations. The tape can be knitted or crocheted too.
  • Recycle: The tapes are electronic waste so they should be collected by your local authority in their e-waste bins.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas

(Photo by tijmen)

Related Categories

items, technology

Search for other related items



207 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle audio cassette tapes?”


  1. Virginia says:

    Hi Dan! if you still need them I have about 50-100 message tapes (ie not music) which i would be very glad to donate to you if you are near enough…I think postage might be exorbitant but will check it anyhow!! We live in Reading but often travel to Leicester, Southampton, Bristol or Birmingham and are going to York this weekend, so do let me know whether you might still be able to use the tapes and where you want them!
    email me on mandvpatterson@talktalk.net as soon as you can!

  2. Anne says:

    I have just found a couple of big boxes of mint pre-recorded cassettes (of one of my albums). I’m guessing there are about 200 (possibly more) all beautifully produced and wrapped in cellophane. We’re about to move into a much smaller property near Abergavenny – can anyone help me to find a new home for the cassettes?

    • Dan says:

      Hi Anne

      Thanks you for your response re: tape cassettes
      We are actually after old music tape, recordings off the radio from years gone by to mixtape, etc. Part of the appeal are the used / battered label (as oppose to your mint condition ones) that an individual may have written on, crossed out, etc.

      Thanks again for your kind offer all the same.

      Cheers

      DAN

      • Hilary says:

        Hello Dan,

        I have about two to three dozen old cassette tapes, mostly taped from vinyl or CD, which I’d be happy to send you. These all have hand written labels. Some are of one artist (eg: Eurythmics, Alison Moyet, Dire Straits) and a couple are mixed. I also have battered originals by the Bangles, Pogues, Ramones and others.

      • Matthew says:

        Hi Dan,

        I’ve got at least two dozen cassette tapes and I think most of them are radio recordings. Are you still looking for them?

        Thanks.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Dan
        I am looking to recycle old audio music tapes-i don’t have that many but would prefer not to put them in the trash……..
        I have about 10 mostly jazz copied form records. Interested?

        Kathy

  3. Dan says:

    Hi Hilary

    Thanks for your post – those sound great and would be very welcome if you are looking to offload – if you send me your email address I can let you know what address to send to, etc…

    PS: good music taste :–)

    Cheers

    Dan

    • Anonymous says:

      Dan,

      Have I understood correctly, you want cassette tapes of of albums recorded from vinyl/CD etc, or from the radio?
      Is that right?
      I must have loads including various concerts recorded from radio broadcasts.

      Regards

      Steve

      • Dan says:

        Hi Steve

        Yes, I’m after any old ie: not spanking new cassette tapes. Not too fussed about what is actually recorded on them they are wanted more for their physical qualities ie: hand written titles, notes, different stickers, etc. The plan is to bond them to a wall to create a kind of ‘wall of sound’ installation thingy.

        How many are looking to off load Steve?

        Cheers Dan

  4. Simone boyd says:

    Hi there
    Are you still looking for old tapes?
    I have done a clearout and found my retro 80′s music.
    Would you take them?
    I cannot stand the thought of throwing them away in a bin-
    Someone must NEED these.

    Here’s hoping.

    Simone
    .

  5. Simone boyd says:

    Hi there
    Are you still looking for old tapes?
    I have done a clearout and found my retro 80′s music.
    Would you take these?

    Here’s hoping.

    Simone
    .

  6. Falkenna says:

    Hi Dan
    I’ve got some unusual ones, rescued from vinyl when I moved to UK from US, now converted so spare. Tyrannosaurus Rex, Incredible String Band, Japan, more. Are you still interested?

  7. Falkenna says:

    Hi Dan
    I’ve got some unusual ones, rescued from vinyl when I moved to UK from US, now converted so spare. Tyrannosaurus Rex, Incredible String Band, Japan, more. Are you still interested?

    Sorry, just ticking notification, don’t see a delete button for previous. Please use this one to reply.

  8. James says:

    Hello to all,

    I have a big audio cassette collection. I rather give them away instead of throwing them away. If anyone who is looking for any album on cassette I will be happy to send him/her any cassette as asked for. Thank you. My e-mail is mrphjm2@yahoo.com. I hope to hear from anyone soon.

  9. OciaAjigglin says:

    Please add me to the list. I have tons of mix tapes. Ajigglin@yahoo.com.

  10. June/Don says:

    My husband has likely over 1,000 tapes, Normal Bias, C-92- or C-90 with tabs. Please let me know pronto if you are interested. My phone number is 515 971-6997 and his is 402 250-1856. thanks!

  11. Beverly says:

    s better to use whole foods made from scratch for good health.
    Cucumber contains sterols which can help to lower cholesterol and prevent carbohydrates from converting
    to body fat. Then leave it a while until your tummy lets you know that you’re hungry again before opting for a healthy snack.

  12. Rebecca says:

    Hi

    I have a selection of audio cassette tapes to give away, a mixture of pre-recorded and home-recorded, music and audio books and few blank tapes.

    Includes: Speech training for birds, Depeche Mode, T’Pau, Michael Jackson, Huey Lewis and the news, Billy Idol, Pink Floyd, Sue Townsend, Roald Dahl, Hits of the 60s, The Sinatra Christmas album, Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, Billy Holiday, Henry Mancini, classical music, Queen, Madonna, Scottish Favourites, Barry Manilow, Not the 9 o’clock news.

    If you’re interested contact me on catchbtw @ hotmail (dot) com.

  13. Seymour says:

    Have extra game print outs in case your guests want more of
    these games. Aside from making you happy, you are also made strong to face life’s challenges.
    This is also a fun and exciting way to discover new things and meet new people.

  14. Nigel says:

    I have a large collection of Audio Cassettes form 1980s & 1990s. The majority are Pre-recorded but some are copies with handwritten labels etc.

    Anyone interested ?

    • Jen says:

      Hi Nigel

      Your collection sound just like what I am looking for. Would it be possible to send me pic of the lot? acres.jennifer at gmail.com

      Thanks!


Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Got any old 8mm film reels or photo slides you want to get rid of? » How can I recycle this? 29 07 08
  2. Comment on How can I reuse or recycle … audio cassette tapes? by … | Thai Audio Language Learning 26 09 08
  3. How can I reuse or recycle cassette tape cases? » How can I recycle this? Creative ideas for reusing and recycling random stuff 20 05 09
  4. 5 Ways to Reuse Common Items | 14 04 11

Leave a Reply

Your name
Your email (it will not be published. If you want people to contact you, leave your email address in the message too.)
Your website (if you've got one)