Can I Throw VHS Tapes in the Garbage?

If you have any tapes lying around your home that you no longer use, it’s a good idea to recycle them. Not only do these items pose a safety risk, but they can also be hazardous to the environment.

One of the most difficult household objects to recycle is VHS tapes. They have to be broken down into two parts: the black tape and the plastic case that holds it. While that may sound simple enough, it can take a lot of time and money to do.

Recycling Companies That Take VHS Tapes

The best places to recycle your old tapes are at local electronics stores and in your city’s e-waste bin. Many places will accept them for free, while others may charge a small fee to handle them.

Another option is to donate your old tapes to Goodwill or to a charity that will use them in the community. You can also sell your tapes on Craigslist, which can be a good way to make some cash and give someone else the joy of reliving their favorite memories from the past.

How to Remove Data From a VHS Tape

Your tapes probably have valuable information on them, including photos of family members or videos of your first day at kindergarten. Before you throw them away, you’ll want to erase that information so that they can’t be used for any illegal or damaging purposes.

There are several DIY methods for erasing data on tapes, but the most secure is to use a degausser machine. This process will erase all of the magnetic particles on your reel, so that your personal information is safe from thieves.

You can find a degausser machine at any local computer store or on the Internet, and you can even borrow them from friends if you need them. Once you have a machine, it’s easy to use, and it will make your VHS and cassette tapes completely unreadable and safe for disposal.

If you’re really worried about your old videotapes and don’t think they can be recycled, you can burn them to destroy the information inside. However, this method is not recommended because it releases toxic fumes into the air, and it can contaminate the groundwater.

A safer, more environmentally friendly option is to send your tapes to an e-waste recycler. This can be done online or through the mail, and most e-waste recyclers will accept VHS and cassette tapes.

Lastly, you can check with your local waste management company to see if they have a program for disposing of old tapes. Some cities offer a curbside recycling service, but you’ll need to know what kind of tapes they’re accepting.

Before you decide to recycle your old tapes, it’s a good idea to take a few minutes to determine what kind of material they’re made from and whether they’re recyclable or not. Then, you can get started with a recycling plan that’s both efficient and eco-friendly.