How To Donate VHS Tapes, 11 Ideas – 2024

Introduction – Donating VHS

[Update 02/26/2024: we added two more donation destinations]

VHS (video home system) tapes were the standard way to record television programs, watch movies and store digital images and audio. The VHS (Video Home System) format was introduced by JVC in Japan in 1976, and in the United States in 1977.

The peak usage of VHS can be considered the late 1980s to the mid-1990s.

But now, VHS has been out of fashion for … oh, like forever. The number of people who know what is VHS is dwindling and soon it’ll be a remnant of archaeology.

VHS tapes used to be the most popular medium for home entertainment

Most people who came of age in the ’80s and ’90s have boxes of VHS cassettes stashed away somewhere.

VHS cassette tapes are made of plastic and contain metal tape inside.

The metal tape is up to 1,410 feet of material.

They are a pain to get rid of – that is why in this article we will be looking at ways to donate, and to recycle VHS!

How To Donate VHS Tapes

There are a number of ways to donate old VHS tapes

1. Contact your local charity or second-hand store to see if they accept VHS tapes as donations. If so, you can drop off the tapes at their location or have them picked up.

2. Look for a recycling center that specializes in media such as music and movies. They may also take VHS tapes and recycle them properly.

3. Post on online classified sites like Craigslist or eBay to give away any used VHS tapes you have laying around the house or office. You can even set a price if you’d like to make some money off of it. This is a great way to get rid of them quickly, but make sure to set clear expectations with the person who will be taking them off your hands so that everyone is on the same page.

4. Donate the cassettes to senior centers, schools, and libraries in need of entertainment options for their members and patrons. These institutions will usually be happy to accept your donation of VHS tapes.

5. Check if there are any electronics stores or thrift shops in your area that accept VHS tape donations for recycling. Some stores will even pay you for them, so it’s worth checking.

6. Research organizations and Charitable Organizations on the internet that accept VHS donations. These organizations typically have donation centers around the country and they may even come to pick up the tapes from you if necessary.

7. Contact broadcasting and production companies who may be interested in acquiring vintage video footage from old VHS tapes for use in current productions. If you have rare or interesting content stored on those cassettes, this could be a way to make money off of them instead of donating them.

By donating VHS tapes, you can keep them out of landfills and give them a second life. Consider these options when looking for how to donate VHS tapes in 2023. It may take some time, but you’ll feel good knowing that your old movies and shows are finding new homes.

8. Film schools or art institutions might be interested in older media formats for educational purposes.

9. Vintage shops sell vintage items and might be interested in VHS tapes, particularly if they have rare or classic films.

10. Freecycle and Buynothing Groups: These platforms enable individuals to find local recipients who value or have a specific use for old VHS tapes, thereby extending the life of these items and preventing them from ending up in landfills. An example of a Freecycle group could be “The Freecycle Network: New York City,” where members from various boroughs of NYC offer items they no longer need, ranging from furniture to electronics, including VHS tapes.

11. Libraries and Schools: Libraries use these tapes to supplement their collections with rare or educational content, while schools integrate them into various educational programs, benefiting from documentaries, historical footage, and classic films. Contact these institutions in advance to ensure the donation meets their needs and aligns with their policies.

Recycling VHS Tapes

donate vhs tapes 2023
Collection of VHS tapes

Recycling Centers

The term “e-waste” refers to what VHS tapes are, and certain home waste and recycling centers do accept them.

Get in touch with the recycling center in your area to find out whether or not they can take them, or if they know of any other organizations that will.


Greendisk is an organization that recycles obsolete electronic devices of every kind and welcomes donations of them. They accept the following ones, among others:

Before Donating – Transfer Your VHS to Digital

The easiest way to make sure your VHS memories are preserved is by converting VHS tapes to digital video.

You will need a special device that can convert the analog signal on the tape into digital, like the ClearClick Video to Digital Converter, and then download it to a DVD or computer.

After the conversion, we will tell you that you shouldn’t just toss away or recycle your VHS cassettes. Read on to find out.

You Cannot Recycle VHS Tapes At Regular Recycling Centers – Here’s Why

The broad reason is that VHS tapes are made up of various components, many of which aren’t accepted in standard curbside recycling programs due to their complex nature.

These components include a plastic casing, magnetic tape, and metal parts.

The most serious and specific reason is the magnetic tape inside the casing.

It’s made of a thin strip of plastic coated with metallic oxides containing heavy metals like chromium, which are hazardous to the environment if not disposed of properly.

On top of this, the tape is often considered ‘tanglers‘ in recycling facilities, which means it wraps around and jams the sorting equipment, costing repair and downtime.

Less serious but still valid reasons not to recycle VHS tapes is that the plastic casing is typically made from #5 plastic (polypropylene), which isn’t universally accepted in all recycling programs.

Finally, the small metal parts, such as the screws holding the casing together, are too small to be sorted correctly.

Earth911 Recycling VHS Tapes

Earth911 is a recycling center that takes all kinds of electronic waste, including VHS cassettes, and turns them into new products.

They offer places all around the United States where you can leave your donations.

Check their website or give them a call to find out whether they have a place that is local to you that you may use for dropping off items.

Where To Donate VHS Tapes?

Once you have all your VHS tapes ready for donation, it is important to find a place that can accept them.

Here are some of the places you can look into when looking for how to donate VHS tapes in 2023:

Recycling Cassette Tapes

It is important to remember that VHS tapes should not be thrown away but rather recycled.

If you can’t find a place to donate them, then the next best option is to recycle the cassettes properly.

Most electronic waste collection centers will accept donations of VHS tapes and Properly recycle them according to their local regulations.

donate vhs tapes 2023
Donate or recycle your old VHS tapes

Recycling Your Old VHS Tapes In 2024

In 2024, if you want to get rid of your old VHS tapes, you can donate them to a local charity or correctly recycle them.

You may help keep harmful materials out of the environment and give someone else the gift of watching your video memories by reusing them instead of throwing them away.

To help the community and the planet, donate your old VHS cassettes.

Do your homework to ensure that your donations will be used appropriately, whether you’re giving them to a local school or library, a non-profit, a recycling center, or an online classifieds service.

All it takes is a little bit of time and work to guarantee the safety of your memories for decades to come.


The greatest method to prevent VHS cassettes from ending up in landfills and give them a second life is to donate or recycle them.

If you’re trying to figure out where to donate your old VHS tapes in the year 2023, these are some places to look.

Despite the delay, you can take comfort in knowing that your collection of classic television series and movies is being enjoyed by new audiences.

Don’t forget to throw away any cassettes that can’t be recycled or given in your area.

As a result, you’ll lessen the chances of harmful soil contamination from toxic substances.

By donating and recycling VHS tapes, you’re helping preserve memories while keeping toxins out of the environment.

What could be better? So don’t let those old VHS tapes collect dust in your closet – start looking for ways to donate them so they can be enjoyed by others.

Staff Writer
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