More and more people decide to finally digitize their home movies so they can finally get rid of those piles of space-consuming VHS tapes. However, when they get their tapes back, there is often confusion about how exactly to dispose of the tapes properly. This article explains different ways to do so that is both eco-friendly and may even benefit yourself and others.
Once you receive your old tapes back from the video transfer lab, it is important that you check the DVDs or hard drive files that your tapes were transfer onto. Most transfer labs that have a good reputation with their clients will perform quality checks during the transfer process. However, because the material on the tapes are sentimental and important to you, it is best to double check the DVDs when you get home. The worst thing that could possibly happen is finding out the DVDs don’t work AFTER you disposed of the original tapes.
The next step is to create a backup of the DVDs or hard drive files that your tapes were converted to. If you decide to keep your old tapes, those alone can serve as a backup, but if you decide to toss the original tapes, copy the contents of your new DVDs or hard drive onto your home computer or another external hard drive.
When you have come to the decision to part with the original VHS tapes, there are several options that you have:
1. Go through your VHS tapes and pick out any rarities such as Gone with the Wind or an old Charlie Chaplin movie and put them for sale on eBay or the Amazon Marketplace. There isn’t a huge demand for this, but every so often there will be a collector who is seeking out classic tapes for one reason or another.
2. The next option you have is to stopping in the local thrift store or library. They may be interested in commercial tapes such as popular movies or how-to videos. You’ll be surprised how many senior citizens still use their VCR players frequently.
3. Offer your VHS tapes to Freecycle.com and hope someone is interested.
4. At RecycleThis.com, users have suggested making a scarecrow and using the black, fluttering tape to scare birds out of your yard or garden. The plastic housing of the tape can then be thrown into any standard recycling bin.
5. If nobody is interested in your tapes, contact Green Disk. They will dispose of any outdated or obsolete electronics including VHS tapes for $6.95 for a 30 pound box – that’s a lot of tapes!
Whatever you do, don’t just trash them and add to the landfill. The contents of CDs, DVDs, VHS and more can be toxic to the environment and the plastic casing can take hundreds of years to decompose. As quoted from the Green Disk website, “a good planet is hard to find.”