How should we recycle old VHS tapes
July 4, 2012 1:40 PM   Subscribe

VHS tapes. How/where to recycle them?

I scanned previous Asks but everything I read was a few yrs old and possibly outdated. The videotapes are personally recorded, nothing here is suitable for library, etc. donation or reuse. Can they be put in landfill-bound garbage?

We're in Madison, WI and nobody here is handy enough to turn them into art/craft projects.
posted by mcbeth to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'd talk to the people at Kard Recycling, who should be able to recycle them or possibly shred them. They had a location in the office park I used to work in back when I was in Wisconsin, and they were great.
posted by eschatfische at 1:52 PM on July 4, 2012

Best answer: You live in Madison, Wisconsin. One of like, ten municipalities I'd just flat-out assume takes care of this stuff or knows the answer. And they do.
File 13 will take your old video tapes and audio cassettes. They charge $.25 per pound. The tapes are shredded and the plastic is recycling. You can call File 13 at 608-848-0013 or visit File 13 for more information.

The Madison Stuff Exchange is a web site that is open to anyone who lives or works in Dane County. You list your old tapes in an effort to find someone who can use thee. To register for the Stuff Exchange and shop for bargains on hundreds of items go to The Madison Stuff exchange is a free service.
posted by SMPA at 1:56 PM on July 4, 2012

Do any of them have anything remotely weird and/or anachronistic on them? Found Footage Festival.
posted by Madamina at 2:06 PM on July 4, 2012

Response by poster: Unless Xena or Mad About You reruns makes your heart pitter patter there was nothing of any particular interest on any of the tapes, but I'd never heard of Found Footage - sounds pretty cool. Last week I took two full bankers boxes (22 tapes x 2 layers = 44 videotapes per box) to File 13. Fifty pounds of video tapes @ $.25/lb cost me $12 and some change. The guy running the shop was so excited about responsible recycling that he gave me an unexpected, free tour of the warehouse and demonstrated how they break down electronics into smallest components, before they ship all the boxes of bits off to certified processing facilities.

So yeah, all our future e-cycling will go to File 13.
posted by mcbeth at 3:17 PM on August 4, 2012

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