How can I reuse or recycle VHS video tapes?

Video tapeI’ve always been a film fanatic and amassed quite a collection of videos over the years until DVDs came along. Most of my pre-recorded ones were given away and the ones we recorded ourselves went to live in the attic along with the VCR itself. A couple of years on, they’re still up there.

I hadn’t thought of them though until I posted the blog on televisions a couple of weeks ago then Brian emailed to say he had a similar collection of now-redundant tapes too – and now here we are: how can we reuse or recycle video tapes?

Best Suggestions

  • Pass Them On: offer pre-recorded videos to your local charity shop or on Freecycle – not everyone’s made the switch to DVD and it’s a cheap way for them to pick up entertainment for free/cheap. Some charity shops don’t accept them any more because no one buys them – it differs from shop to shop and between areas.
  • Reuse: Crafters have used the tape for crocheting or weaving. The resulting fabric if often used for retro-style bags or purse. Gardeners also use strips of video to deter birds from attacking seedlings.
  • Recycle: Some recycling schemes do exist but they tend to be private and only available in a limited area (due to postage/transport costs). Details of some schemes are below.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas

(Photo by vierdrie)

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349 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle VHS video tapes?”


  1. Emma says:

    I’ve come across this website while looking for somewhere to recycle my VHS tapes. It seems that between us, we have thousands of them! It looks like everyone has some ideas, but maybe together we can devise a scheme that puts them all together.

    Someone mentioned that the black section is in two sections, held together with five screws. If dismantaling all the tapes means that the black sections become recylable then its worth doing. I guess its one of those things each of us can do while watching Eastenders :-)

    Someone else also mentined that they had devised a method of turning take into a 0.4mm strand of machine knittable yarn, from which bags can be made. THEN…. is it worth approaching someone like Debenhams (who don’t currently have a bag for life scheme) who can use their ‘power’ to implement a use, or re-sell them like M&S have their cotton ones? Perhaps there is a way of combining this with carrier bags woven in the same way, so patterns can be added to the plain black bags. Black is even Debenham’s chosen colour for bags :-)

    I haven’t thought of anything for the boxes yet.

    So basically, I guess this would need someone to almost run the project and actually get it going. There needs to be a process, and method of collecting tapes which is either free or at very low cost to get people to donate their tapes. Say, a drop off bin in supermarkets? Or if Debenhams are approched and agree that this is something they want to get involved with, maybe they could have the drop-off bins in stores. I would happily take this on but would need some other people to help so that this doesn’t become a chore. Especially the person who knows how to create the 0.4mm yarn :-)

    Feel free to contact me at: emma_gleb@yahoo.co.uk

    Kind regards,
    Emma

    • Wade Hutchinson says:

      Hi your idea is great and would love to take part in leading the way to the future profits lol. If you are serious about approaching big companies would like to get involved got loads of contacts with various charity shops that have excessive amount of videos so supply won’t be a issue.

  2. Nick Ross says:

    I’m another film buff with a box or two of video tapes under my bed.

    Our local charity shops no longer take them as donations, but I still occasionally buy new(ish) ones. My self recorded ones are being transferred to digital bit by bit, if they are of good quality. Maybe with election madness going on, one of the main parties will make a recycling drive into policy. I’m going to sit on them awhile longer til we know where we stand with recycling magnetic tape.

    • Val says:

      You mention you are transferring your pre-recorded video tapes to digital. Could you tell me how this is done please because, I have numerous ones of Weddings I would like to have converted.
      Thanks

      • Diane says:

        I am currently doing mine via a DVD recorder which has a hard drive on which I can accumulate short items but not yet copied to the DVD.

        I have copied trhu the computer via a USb gadget but it is not compatible with Win 7 and you need a fast setup or it is juddery. Then it is possible to edit with software which comes with windows or with the gadget. Google ‘video (or VHS) to DVD’.

      • Iain says:

        Try the ADVC-55. Excellent quality, although you probably need to have a lot of tapes to convert to make it worth the investment.

      • don says:

        if you want to change your chs to dvd there are a number of ways but the easist on i have found and used it myself and for a few freinds is roxio easy vhstodvd is is cheap and does a great job I know there are more expense pograms that do a lot more but this is easy to use it also can turn you lp’s and casettes into mps files . hope this helps you

      • Nick Ross says:

        I use a DVD/VHS combo machine for some transfer but I also have an EZ Grabber which helped with a lot of my old 8mm tapes…

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/Grabber-designed-capture-source-editing/dp/B000S0QIPI

  3. Kate E. says:

    Our local library takes the pre-recorded ones for their book sale and they are very popular. You might also find a buyer at a yard sale or ebay.

  4. kitschkitty says:

    I’ve seen cassette tape coin purses and vinyl record bags, so I wonder if VHS tapes can be broken apart to make clutch purses at all?

    Freecycle/freeegle has always rehomed my old prerecorded VHS.

    I wonder if considering the shape if them you could use them like bricks to make some kind of furniture or something! You can easily cover them in paper or material (even better if they are still in their cardboard sleeves) to make them look nice.

    I guess it also depends on your craft and DIY skills (plus I’ve never taken one apart to truly gen an idea of their parts – to get more ideas).

  5. Ed Strano says:

    I have 7 boxes of svhs and vhs video tapes from wedding that I shot in the early 80′s. I’ve got to get rid of them but I feel obligated to protect my customer’s privacy so I just can’t throw them in the trash. Surprisingly I played some and they still play fine. I don’t have the time to erase each one, I just need to get rid of them. Open to any suggestions. Ed

    • Bob says:

      There is a thing called a “bulk eraser”. You just plug it in to the mains, then wave it over the tape, then you have a blank tape. Google for “hand held vhs tape bulk eraser” Professional ones are expensive for occasional use

    • Diane says:

      magnets do a great job of erasing – I did it myself when working in a library and putting the video across the security system.

  6. Dave C says:

    Greetings,
    I would first make them available to the wedding couple, if you know where they are..they would love to have them. Otherwise, you might have to take the time to erase them, then put them out (either inside, with permission, or just outside) of a video store with a sign “Free Blank Tapes, Help Yourself”. They will be gone in a heartbeat. I got over a 1000 hardshell VHS cases that way! Good luck!

    • JoAnn says:

      How does one erase them?

      • Nick Ross says:

        You could record static from an analogue tv over old recordings, or a blank screen/test card.

        Beyond that I’ve no idea, never had to erase tapes before.

      • Bob says:

        There is a thing called a “bulk eraser”. You just plug it in to the mains, then wave it over the tape, then you have a blank tape. Google for “hand held vhs tape bulk eraser” Professional ones are expensive for occasional use

      • lawrence says:

        the best way to erase magnetic tape cheaply is to expose them to a strong magnetic field,eg from a magnet.an old loudspeaker/drive unit would probably work.

      • Jon says:

        Waving a powerful magnet over the tapes will likely not erase them.

  7. Nome says:

    I discarded the cases to recycling and taped blocks of tapes together (using black PVC tape) to make a little platform to raise my computer monitor to a more comfortable level, another for my husband’s computer, and a little side table for the living room! If you don’t like the appearance, you can throw a tablecloth over or cover the blocks in wrapping paper.

  8. mazennie says:

    i have 5 tones of this video tapes thats i get it from bank auction…wanted to sale at rm 0.50 per kilo….anybody interested?? email me at myyjourney_unique@live.com

  9. Jessica says:

    You can recycle your tapes through Intercon Solutions!

    Give me a call or shoot me an email…

    Jessica Stanek
    Intercon Solutions
    708-756-9838
    jessica@interconsolutions.com

    • M Bass says:

      I saw were you said your company recycles VHS tapes. I live not to far from you Concord, NC facility. Are you still recylcing tapes and can they be delivered to your facility.

      M Bass

  10. Karen Kelly says:

    I bought a video tape crochet purse from a lady in Madison, Indiana. It’s pretty and it’s a very good use for video tape. Wondering if some of our “green stores” could start selling them, too.

    • Ashwani Thapar says:

      Karen please if you may direct a digital photo of the purse to me as well as contact info of the lady in Indiana, so that I may buy one of them – I want to do reverse engineering as to how to recycle the tapes I have (3000+). If I get success in taking care of them, I would surely tell the rest of the world HOW TO DO THE SAME.

      So far, I only heard on this portal that the tapes can be recycled, but nobody has come forward as to the process or procedure, except light at the end of tunnel has been shown by you.

      Looking forward to a positive response from you in a very timely manner.
      May correspond directly at
      akt.ponderables@gmail.com

  11. Not advisable to knit or crotchet with audio tapes or video tapes because of the coatings. See postings by great advocate of recycling Urban Woodswalker on Flickr

    “It was brought to my attention recently that crocheting, spinning, knitting, knotting, braiding, and other textile fabrication techniques using old cassette and video tapes may be injurious to one’s health in the long run.

    I am doing lots of research …and asking for any links or articles you might find on this topic. Old magnetic tape is basically a polymer plastic…with layers of metals on it. When these toxic metals shed often called “black dust” by crafters in the know, skin absorbtion or inhalation is possible. Tthe process of sheding this particulate matter is called “sticky-shed” —read more about it here:
    http://www.unesco.org/webworld/ramp/html/r9704e/r9704e11.htm

    The layers of metals that create ‘black or brown dust” contain cobalt, chromium, and iron. All can be toxic . Furthermore, wearing items made with these materials exposes them to more air, humidity and deterioration in addition to people and pets. ” see strain of discussion http://www.flickr.com/groups/plastic/discuss/72157624120579841/

  12. Chris Brooks says:

    I’m in the UK and I’ve sent all mine to ‘the recycling people’. They take VHS and audio tapes, but will charge you:

    Up to 50 pieces £15.00
    51 to 150 pieces £25.00
    151 to 250 pieces £40.00
    Over 250 pieces call

    info@therecyclingpeople.co.uk is a contact address.

    A bit pricey with the postal too (thought you can drop off if you live in the area) but much better than throwing into landfill IMHO.

    Chris

    • Patsy says:

      I’ve just contacted my local library (in South East London) and they are delighted my VHS collection off my hands. A lot of people still watch them (apparently). I’m really pleased to give them away – I was sure they would end up as landfill. Not all libraries take them, so it’s worth phoning around.

      I’d asked at a local charity shop if they wanted them. They don’t take them any more because, they say, they give off noxious gases if stored near heaters.

  13. Jon says:

    Hi, I run a group of charity shops in the Carlisle area, we have been re-selling videos for years but the stock is growing and sales are dropping so I now have several thousand vhs videos and am about to loose a significant area of storage.

    Any ideas please?

    Jon

  14. Jon says:

    Sorry, should have put my email addy in, any ideas or interest please contact me at;

    jon@opshops.co.uk

    Thanks

  15. Carolyn says:

    In VA there’s a company located in Chantilly that offers collection events every second Saturday. They will take and recycle VHS tapes and plastic boxes for a nominal fee. $1.00 per pound which is about 8 tapes. The company is called PCRecycler Inc. 1-800-731-1909.

  16. I upcycle/recycle video tapes by giving them an alternative purpose. I use them as roof covering, flowerpots and birdhouses.
    Pictures on the website: http://www.maximalisme.be and the blog http://maximalisme.skynetblogs.be/
    If you have tapes to give away and you live in Brussels you can contact me: Ognev@maximalisme.be
    Thanx and enjoy!

  17. Neha says:

    Hiya,

    If you have the plastic hard casings for VHS then you can cover them with wrapping paper or posters to make;

    great gift boxes,
    jewellery boxes,
    money box with a coin slot on the top or side depending if you want it landscape or portrait,
    book covers so that the books don’t catch dust, tan due to sunlight, creased corners or bend,
    you could also slip in a family photo and keep precious memorial bits in,
    pens and pencils case.

    Those are a few ideas that have come to mind which i have not yet put into practice.

    Hope these ideas can be a great use :)

  18. Neha says:

    sorry that is meant to say ‘you could also slip in a family photo and keep precious memorable bits in’ instead of ‘you could also slip in a family photo and keep precious memorial bits in’

  19. Warning…this topic of the dangers of crafting with old cassette and VCR tapes is very real. See here for more info as I have researched this very thoroughly, and am a cancer survivor also.

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/plastic/discuss/72157624120579841/

  20. sb says:

    Dear MB (who lives in FRANCE).

    I live in Paris and have lots of VHS tapes.
    They are yours if you want them.
    We would just have to work out a way to get them to you, cheaply!

    Thanks
    SB

  21. Inhalation of fine particulates is a real danger. Do you want to have Chromium, Lead, and COBALT in your lungs, or your customers?

    They say that eventually all the tapes shed this dust….its it worth the time and effort to create items out of this material? I wonder. I like to create items that will last a long time….not something destined for tossing out…as there is plenty of that in the world already.

    These tapes were never designed with the idea they would be touched, nor exposed to hands….that’s why they are encased in plastic boxes… When we recycle, we often reUSE in ways never thought of by the manufacturers of these toxic items. In my research I found many articles stating the long term toxicity of magnetic tape.

    Who would have thought that working with plastic has inherent dangers? There are some that only use a respirator and gloves when knitting or crocheting with VCR/cassette tapes. This does not seem like an enjoyable way to craft or make art to me…and the end result ultimately rusts, sheds, and causes more harm to living things.

  22. Forbes Watson says:

    I have loads of VHS pre recorded tapes, I used to give them to the charity shops but they will not accepted anymore, then I noticed an advert in a local booklet which came through the letter box that they were looking for VHS tapes they sold them and gave the money to the charity BHF , I phoned them up and they came and collected them, then I found more VHS so I rang them up today and was advised that they were not looking for anymore as they have hundreds.

    So I am now left with a large bag of VHS tapes and dont know what to do with them if anyone knows of any recycle company who would take them away for me in the East Kilbride or Glasgow areas they can contact me by email : wilforwat77@aol.com it would be much appreciated.

  23. Evelyn says:

    Check out GreenDisk.com – cheapest option is to pack your own boxes, pay your own shipping cost, plus $7 for each 20lbs for processing the stuff you send. Secure disposal of data, as well as recycling!

  24. Cathy says:

    I remove the rolls of tape and use for tying up plants in the garden. It’s not a strong as twine but it is ok for just tying beans or raspberries etc to stakes. It’s nice that it comes in a little handy dispenser!

    • Anonymous says:

      Tie a few 6 – 12″ strands together and it makes a great bird scarer (the cats don’t like it either as it rustles in the wind)

  25. kane says:

    Hey if you keep onto them for a while (i mean generations) they might become collectables like records are today

  26. Ron says:

    I too am so completely frustrated that millions and millions of vhs tapes all over the world and we cannot find a way to economically recycle them without costing “US” the consumers an arm and a leg. I have hundreds of tapes and I don’t want them to go into the landfill. If someone comes up with a way to use tape they will be rich.

  27. beth says:

    It was interesting to read all the different options with what to do with vids. I was unaware of the health problems that can be caused. I was surprised that no-one had mentioned the possibilty of a fire hazard if made into furniture. So for me I guess its back to the drawing board but I will check out one or two sites. Thanks

  28. I also did not think of the flammability of this magnet tape. Great point Beth. People creating scarves, purses, and such….one should write a disclaimer into their selling listings. there are those that still smoke in this world. I shudder to think of wearing a magnetic tape accessory into a night club…with all the smokers, and cigarettes that might be lighting up there.

    I am planing on making ONE time to go with my next fashion trashion designer ensemble (2011 production deadline). Most likely a scarf. It will not be sold, nor worn more then once or twice. It will hopefully wind up in a museum collection and/ or just shown in galleries on a dressform. I cannot conciously create and sell items made of this material to the public.

  29. Philip Mitchell Graham says:

    I think the safest and most energy efficient thing to do would be to crush up the boxes and use them as aggregate in non-load baring concrete.

    The actual tape itself is a HIGHLY TOXIC heavy metal waste stream. An international movement should be started for the original manufacturers to take their crap back and recycle it.

    • Paul says:

      AFAIK, the only mildly toxic substance is a very thin layer of chromium(IV) oxide.
      I think you are thinking of the production process, not the end product.

  30. Kane, unless you have the knowledge of a film and tape archiver…chances are your videos and cassette tapes will succumb to normal things like fluctuating heat and moisture as all homes have. Eventually, without a constantly maintained heat and humidity control (think museum environment) , they will break down, rust, become brittle, etc.

    I would transfer the data onto a more permanent and healthier means.

  31. Ashwani, the Internet and creative websites like Dawanda and Etsy have hundreds of artisans that knit and or crochet this toxic stuff into saleable purses, hats, tote bags, and scarves.

    Its not a new idea….but perhaps in your location it is.

    I could not consciously sell any work made of this material regardless of its ongoing success within the creative marketplace. Those that do either do so by lack of knowledge of hazards, or disregardance due to monetary aspirations.

  32. RJ says:

    Westminster Council in London takes old videos for recycling. Only once a week though at their ‘mobile recycling centre’ in pimlico:
    http://www.westminster.gov.uk/services/environment/rubbishwasteandrecycling/recyclingfacilities/new-mobile-recycling-site/#feedback

    Haven’t been down there myself to see how it works (or doesn’t).
    rj

  33. YS says:

    Just spoken to Westminster Council (020 7641 2000) – yes, their mobile recycling unit will continue to run in Pimlico until March 2011 and will accept videos, cds, books, small electrical items etc. Every Sunday 12-5pm. Going give it a shot this weekend…

  34. Annabelle says:

    I have so many books that I need to put double rows in any bookcase that is wide enough, and have been somewhat frustrated at not being able to see the back row.

    A couple of years ago I figured that a layer of old video tapes under the back row would raise them sufficiently so that I can see the titles. I put a row of three-deep tapes, and it works a treat. It has used 21 on each shelf, on two six-shelf bookcases – that is 252 tapes used, I think. I have used up all my old ones, and now collect the unsold left-overs from the local charity bookfair we help with each year.

    The plastic hard-covers have been gratefully received by my local genealogy society, who label and use them for subject dividers in their library. I think they almost have enough, and am considering using a similar system to separate my categories as well.

    anne.brady@xtra.co.nz

  35. Eileen Mann says:

    info@therecyclingpeople.co.uk

    This company will accept video cassettes FREE as long as you have removed the tape itself. The tape is the only non-recyclable element and they have to pay landfill charges when they dispose of it.

  36. Jen says:

    Apparently, there is a place in the US that will recycle VHS tapes–
    http://www.actrecycling.org/donations/howtodonate.asp

    According to their website, “Since 1975, Alternative Community Training, Inc. (ACT) has been a nationally accredited, not-for-profit agency providing support and assistance to adults with disabilities.” It also says they erase, clean and resell the tapes to large companies, but that is probably outdated. I called the number listed, and spoke with someone who said that the tapes are now recycled, though only the outside casing is recyclable. This outside plastic is ground up and resold. And unlike other places, you don’t have to pay them to take the tapes, just pay for shipping. Sounds too good to be true! But I didn’t find anything online that said they were shady, so maybe they can do it because they’re a non-profit? I only have about a dozen tapes to get rid of, so the shipping wouldn’t be bad…

  37. William says:

    1.Remove the tape inside the cassettes.

    2.take off or glue the flap closed.

    3.keep the wheels inside but clue them so they dont move or leave them as they are perhaps.

    4.then spray them all different colours, and you have a set of kids building blocks.

    5.donate them to charity or a local school or playgroup

    • Niamh says:

      Imaginiative idea, but the toxic spray paint, glue and the potential for small parts to come away, not to mention whatever toxins are alreay present in the plastic casing would create very unsafe toys for children.

      • I agree. this stuff is dangerous. someone mailed me a huge box full so I could create an art garment. I got rid of it…I don’t want to touch it. I would never give the tape to children, nor the plastic boxes. this is not reasonable “recycling.” dumping unwanted trash (albeit it toxic) on others is not ethical. This is why I refuse to crochet the tape up into purses, clothing, are other works of art…and then sell it to an unsuspecting public.

  38. Spray painting anything is not eco friendly…sort of defeats the whole idea of reUSE doesn’t it? Not eco friendly. spray paints ..carcinogenic, and contribute to ozone….and then the ultimate can….

  39. maggie says:

    use the tape a ribbon for wrapping gifts

  40. Sue says:

    Go to http://www.Earth911.com for many places to send your old video tapes for recycling. Many companies will send you a shipping box or shipping label so that recycling costs you nothing. This means that the companies make money from recycling video tapes!

  41. Melissa says:

    The gov’t of Canada is involved in a zero waste data recycling program. You can send cd’s, vhs, dvd, floppy disks to the following address. All data is erased prior to recycling.

    http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/greenhill/programs/storagemedia-e.asp

    I just keep a small box to fill with the above items and when it is full, I’ll mail it off.

  42. the_knight says:

    @Sue… unfortunately I have found no free recycling options via Earth911 (or elsewhere for that matter). It’s appalling that consumers are left with the burden of properly dispose of such materials while the industry that turned a profit from the production of magnetic media is not held accountable.
    Sadly all policy makers worldwide are slaves to the lobbyists otherwise there would be a 0 tolerance and 100% take back policy for anything containing toxic or recyclable materials. As a matter of fact any industry using a toxic or recyclable material should participate in percentage to provide financial support to the recycling industry.
    For instance, car manufacturers should fund recycling of metal, plastic, glass, etc. as well as recycling of environmentally dangerous materials such as lubricants, transmission oil, cooling fluids, etc. used in their products. Similarly companies responsible for manufacturing tapes should be responsible for their recycling and should take back and recycle at least as many as they produced throughout the years… you put 100 out you take 100 in! That would just be fair, right?
    I don’t see that happening anytime soon so I’ll do the next best thing. I will use of my time to be as green as current regulations allow and take apart the cassettes, separate plastic, metal and magnetic tape ribbons, then recycle plastic and metal and dump the tapes… I know they will end up in landfills but so do all non-rechargeable batteries !!! It’s either that or burning the tape ribbons unless someone has a better suggestion for someone living in NYC.

  43. the_knight says:

    PS: I am obviously open to suggestions and let me point out that I’d never opt for burning the magnetic ribbon, because it would be far worse than dumping it in the landfill. Burning the tape would pollute more, putting in the air a much larger amount of toxic chemicals, which would eventually end up in our system in a way or another… therefore, although the landfill is not the ideal solution, it is the lesser of two evils, given the lack of proper and controlled recycling options.

    • I have to agree. the landfill is the lesser of 2 evils, IF there is no place to reasonably get these recycled in your region. Unfortunately its now almost heresy to landfill stuff…and its not a popular solution, but its sometimes the only option to have waste wind up in landfills.

      Neither is it reasonable to Burn, donate to thrift shops, make arts & crafts out of toxic materials, nor expect people to box and ship up their garbage and send to other parts of the globe.

  44. Diskrecycling.co.uk Offer : Free collection of obsolete, unwanted, damaged Cds, Dvds and vyil disks, old VHS and all related Cases and packaging.

    We’re the company to call if you have 500kg’s or 50 tonnes of cd/dvd waste! We recycle with a dedicated fleet of vehicles servicing the whole of the UK. You can rest assured that whether it’s a one-off pick up or a regular weekly collection you need, we’ve got it covered. We accept all related packaging.

    We offer free collection for minimum quantities of half a ton. There are around 65000 CDs to the ton. We will collect 30000, free of charge. Collections usually take place 2-7 working days from your request. Call on 08009 788 715 or click here for quick enquiry form.

  45. Van says:

    Great post! We currently have a project that involves dismantling the cartridges and utilizing the spools in a decor piece. If anyone wants to donate their old VHS tapes please let us know! Looking for old auido cassette cases too.

    We’ll cover shipping :)

    hello@wearemfeo.com

    • the_knight says:

      @Van To use the spools for decorative pieces is dangerous at many levels. The toxic chemicals present in the tape ribbon should not be used for anything. Sadly there is no corporate accountability or those who have been producing tapes throughout the years should be tasked with finding a way to recycle or destroy them in a manner that would not create pollution and will not contaminate the environment. Since that’s not going to happen as I said earlier we are all left with 1 single option. we are forced to disassemble manually those tapes and dipose what can be recycled through the available channels and then, we have to dispose of the only non recyclable item left (the tape ribbons) by discarding them with the rest of the trash that will end up in landfills. If you live in areas where there are companies that can dispose of magnetic ribbons then by all means please use them even if they charge a small recycling fee. Make always sure are reputable and can prove how they recycle or destroy tapes in an environmentally safe manner. Too many just collect and ship overseas to poor country that end up burning them putting their health and ours to risk creating pollution that will impact everyone.

      Please in NO CASE those ribbons should be used for making items that people will come into contact with.

      Wishing everyone to always try to do the right thing no matter how hard or unpopular it may sometime be…and always be safe.

      Cheers!

      • Mary Anne Enriquez says:

        Well said. I agree completely with The _ Knight. Thank you!

        More and more I am learning how our “recycling” programs mean our trash is shipped to poor undeveloped countries, which down cycle the materials…and in the process cause great toxicity to air (burning), water, and land. We all breathe and share the same water and air. and ultimately…..the global environment is affected.

        I am one artist that will not use any magnetic tapes in my artwork…either for personal nor commercial (for sale ) art work.

      • Van says:

        Thanks so much for the information Knight. It’s a shame that attempting to reuse and keep items out of landfills can be so complicated and often dangerous.

        We’re planning on leaving the film on the reels, untouched. We’ll likely seal the finished decor piece in a translucent plexiglass to ensure any particles or residue are contained.

        In your opinion, do you think that would be sufficient in terms of safe handling?

        Thanks again for the great input.

        -Van

  46. John Gibbins says:

    We are able to RCYCLE video cassettes, CD’s DVD’s reel tapes etc
    Please contact Europlastix Ltd johngibbins2@btinternet.com

  47. I think for a long time video tapes was an integral part of homes, till DVD came along. This issue of recycling them has an ecumenical appeal.

  48. Liz says:

    Use the boxes to hold embroidery threads or sewing cotton reels. It keeps everything together and they stack well. My sewing stash is far tidyer and usable now.
    Use the clear or lighter boxes rather than the black ones and you can see what is in them without having to open or label them.

    I have also seen video boxes used to contain a scrapbooking project, just glue in a long concertina piece of cardboard and add scrapbooking. The whole thing folds up into the box to store and the insert that the video label went into holds the title page.

  49. Shannan says:

    Drop the tape cases off to your local primary school. They make useful containers for storing small games and learning activities. They are easy for little hands to open, easy to re-decorate (just slip a new sleeve in behind the clear plastic) and store in minimal space.

    I’m sorry but I don’t have a solution for the tapes themselves.

  50. astroboi says:

    Somehow, paying somebody to take these things off your hands is not recycling. If I wanted to do that I’d just put them in the garbage and pay the refuse company to haul them away along with other trash. And anybody who has ever taken a cassette apart will realise that its not a trivial job; it can take 5 or 10 minutes for each one, more if you hit one of those that has odd “safety” screws or even rivets holding it together. Honestly……these things burn great! Somewhere between cardboard and pine. Simply add one to your regular log fire to stretch your wood supply. Naturally there will be folks who will be outraged at burning anything. If thats you, well, don’t use this method. But me; I’d rather extract some useful heat from these things and reduce my gas bill, reduce my volume of stuff headed for the landfill and most of all, not pay more to be rid of the tapes than they cost originally!



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