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What Can I Do With Old Videotapes?

By Katy Aguayo

Growing up in the ‘80s and ‘90s meant being recorded on VHS a lot. Home movie making became extremely popular after the inventions of the VHS tape, VCR, and camcorder, and many families have archives of VHS footage from that era.

Now that we’re living in the digital age, it’s very important to have those VHS tapes and other forms of analog media digitized so that you can save those memories forever.
VHS tapes degrade over time, so the only way to truly preserve the footage on them is through digitization.

But if you’ve already gotten those precious memories digitized, what can you do with the old VHS tapes you have left over? Can you simply throw them away?

The best option for disposing of old VHS tapes is to recycle them with an e-waste recycler. VHS tape casings are made up of different types of plastic which can take centuries to degrade in a landfill, and the mylar coating on the tape itself is a concoction of different metals that can actually be hazardous. It’s important to dispose of VHS tapes properly so that you don’t risk contamination.

You can search online for an e-waste recycler near you. Make sure you read what types of e-waste they accept for recycling at their facility before making the trip. Some e-waste recyclers won’t accept VHS tapes.

If you can’t find an e-waste recycler near you or the closest one doesn’t accept VHS tapes, you can mail your tapes into a mail-in e-waste recycling program. There are a few different companies that do this sort of e-waste recycling, and it can be very useful to people who live in areas without e-waste recycling centers. 

Some people get crafty and reuse old VHS tapes to make interesting DIY projects. If you look on pinterest you can find tutorials on how to make purses, tables, shelves, and more from VHS tapes. If you’re looking for a project to do this weekend and you have a lot of old VHS tapes, why not try one of those out? Repurposing VHS tapes is a great alternative to disposing them through recycling if you’re not quite ready to part ways with your tapes yet. They carry sentimental value, and so revitalizing them into something useful after getting them digitized is a great idea.

If you still haven’t digitized your tapes, photographs, or films, check out our website and blog to learn more about the digitization process and how we can help you transfer all your most special memories into a digital format that will last forever.

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