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. Alistair says:

    We are decluttering and have 150 or so mainly children’s videos, Walt Disney shop bought (from new) VHS videos in original boxes. We are Stevenage area, is anyone interested in them? Before I take a trip to the tip.

  2. Belinda Thomas says:

    I’ve got about 100 old video cassettes. Most were bought as blank tapes and have been recorded over from the TV several times so of no interest to anyone.I don’t want them to go into landfill, Does anyone know where they can be recycled?

    • Peter Kemp says:

      The Bristol based company that use to take VHS Cassettes, Environmental Media Solutions stopped doing so a couple of years ago and late last year it was wound up on an application to the High Court by HMRC!

      The only company I have found that will take them is Terracycle. They will sell you a collection box for either £99.18 (Small Box) or £174.89 (Medium Box) and when full they will arrange collection. They undertake to recycle the cassettes in an environmentally friendly manner.

      I managed to get rid of over 200 home recorded tapes to a chap in Cambridge that wanted them for a project.

      The recycling industry just don’t seem interested and other than Terracycle there is nobody that I can trace that wants them, just too difficult to recycle at an economic cost!

  3. Jan Clark says:

    Hi, my son (who is disabled) is always on the lookout for VHS or Betamax tapes will stuff recorded from TV. In the north bristol area. If anyone has any lying around would be grateful. Also looking for the machines especially Betamax ones! A long shot but you never know if someone has one lying around.

    • Dee says:

      Hi, Jan!

      I am de-cluttering in advance of moving house this week (East Bristol) and have a collection of VHS tapes. Some are of recordings from the TV, some are pre-recorded films, some blank. Would your son be interested?

  4. Helen says:

    I have around 60 video cassettes with films & TV series recorded off TV over the years. Really do not want them to go to landfill. Is anyone interested, still have a VCR that longs to be used?
    I am in North Birmingham. Drop me a line.

  5. Shirley Rainford says:

    Have many prerecorded VHS videos of Catherine Cookson…some unplayed..
    Haworth area, West Yorkshire

  6. Shirley Rainford says:

    Am relinquishing my late mum’s collection of prerecorded VHS Catherine Cookson videos.. some unplayed. All good condition. Other videos available of various films. Haworth area, West Yorkshire.

  7. kathryn whittaker says:

    I have quite a few childrens videos, for example Brum, Thomas the Tank etc, all good quality.

    Willing to deliver or post (depending where you are). I am in Gloucestershire.

    Please get in touch

  8. john says:

    has any one got a copy of Pride and Passion with Cary Grant Frank Sinatra and Sophia Loren on Video,or taped off the telly



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