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)

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

  1. Sebastian says:

    Hi Claire,
    yes, I would like them:)))

  2. Steve says:

    Hi All,

    I am starting an art project in Manchester and could do with 100+ audio tapes if possible. I’m not concerned about what music they have on them or their condition. If you have a bulk of tapes that you would like to donate I would be very interested to hear from you. Please contact me on

    Many Thanks,

    • Marion says:

      Hi Steve are you still wanting audio cassettes asi have 1-200 but i am on the south coast. do myou still need them

      • Dan says:

        Hi Marion

        If Steve does not get back to you / no longer require them then I would be happy to relieve you of them :–) I am also collecting used audio tape cassettes for a project (in Manchester too as it happens).



  3. devina says:


    I have video cassettes, can anyone use them?


  4. Neil Bedford says:


    I have many Hundreds possibly Thousands of cassette tape looking for a good home. Most C90 with radio broadcasts recorded on them. Available from Reigate in Surrey.

    Also Many hundreds of videos looking for a good home, again blanks that have been recorded on.

    Any ideas where I can find a home for them or recycle them?

    Interested or comment email


  5. 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 as soon as you can!

  6. 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.



      • 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?


      • 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?


  7. 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 :–)



    • Anonymous says:


      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.



      • 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

  8. 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.


  9. 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.


  10. 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?

  11. 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.

  12. 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 I hope to hear from anyone soon.

  13. OciaAjigglin says:

    Please add me to the list. I have tons of mix tapes.

  14. 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!

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  16. Rebecca says:


    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.

  17. Seymour says:

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  18. 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


  19. Kate Watson says:

    Hi Dan,

    On the off chance that your project is still running, would you like about 15 mixtapes with handwritten labels that an old friend made for me?

    If yes please let me know where to send them.


  20. susan mcanulty says:

    I have videos and cassette tapes childrens and stories


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