Have you started spring cleaning but don’t know where to recycle VHS tapes?

The large plastic casing and toxic film make VHS tapes notoriously tricky to chuck. In addition, the plastic case can take decades to decompose in a landfill, while the plastic film inside is coated in hazardous metals toxic to the environment when it breaks down.

So, how do you dispose of your VHS tapes correctly?

Once you have digitally saved your old media files by converting your VHS to DVD, dispose of your old tapes by recycling or upcycling them.

Recycling VHS Tapes:

The simplest way to figure out how to recycle VHS tapes is by checking your local household waste recycling centre. Many centres in the UK can safely dispose of your videos by collecting them in the ‘Waste for Energy’ skips.

If you have commercial tapes (such as films or television shows), you can place them in the Reuse Area for charities to sell.

If your local area does not dispose of tapes, many companies will recycle VHS videos for you:

TipTop Media Management: They will recycle your VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, Audio cassettes or Film in an environmentally friendly way and at a reasonable price with a certificate of destruction emailed to you upon completion.

Butterfly Garden: This garden project has set up a fantastic recycling programme for plastics. They will dispose of your tapes for free – you just have to pay for the postage.

TerraCycle: This company offers a simple solution for a high price. You can order a box to fill with your old tapes. Once filled, TerraCycle will collect the box from you and recycle the tapes.

Upcycling VHS Tapes:

Upcycling your VHS tapes into decorations or furniture is a more creative solution to dispose of your bulky tape collection. The plastic film used in tapes is excellent for scaring birds away from your vegetable patch or decorating one of your lampshades.

Pinterest is a great website to help inspire your creative mind! They offer many ideas to reuse your tapes, from creating a pencil case to building a full-blown table.

If you are not artistically gifted, then donate your VHS tapes to art programmes or companies:

Urban Beachcomber creates beautiful works of art with rubbish and unloved materials. You can message them on Facebook before sending your old tapes. It is an attractive option for giving your tapes a new lease on life.

Espensen Spirit in Bristol always asks customers to send in empty VHS cases of films and television series to use as packaging for their gin. This option is fantastic if you have lost videos but still have the case!

Selling VHS Tapes:

This option is the least viable for getting rid of your videos. It takes a lot of time, effort, and knowledge of your tapes to profit from selling.

Movies on VHS tapes sell at a profit if they were never released on DVD. Similarly, if you have a large Disney film collection, there is a chance you can sell them for a small profit to a VHS collector. Read our article on valuable VHS tapes to learn more about which home movies make a profit.

Otherwise, blank tapes sell for a profit since VHS tapes stopped production in 2008.

Finally, if you choose to convert your tapes with Digital Converters, you can ask us to dispose of your videos after conversion. We will keep your tapes for 30 days before upcycling or disposing of them.