What Happens to Your Old Cassette Tapes When You Donate Them?


Quick Answer

Donated cassette tapes may be resold, turned into arts and crafts projects, offered for loan in libraries or recycled for their plastic components. Which of these purposes donated cassette tapes are used for varies based on where they are donated. The person or agency accepting the tapes can verify the purpose to which donated tapes are put.

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What Happens to Your Old Cassette Tapes When You Donate Them?
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Full Answer

Arts and crafts projects that utilize old cassette tapes include wallets, tape dispensers and smartphone cases. Unwound magnetic tape from inside cassettes can be used as garden twine or to weave fabric for purses or other accessories.

When functional cassette tapes containing music or audio books are donated to a library, homeless shelter or halfway house, they are used by patrons, guests and residents. Functional tapes donated to thrift stores or non-profit organizations such as Goodwill are resold to customers. Cassette tapes containing private or sensitive material should not be donated to these venues, because someone may listen to the tapes.

Recycling centers that accept cassette tapes unspool the magnetic tape and recycle it separately from the plastic case. These tapes are destroyed, which makes recycling a better option for cassette tapes that contain personal material. Recycling centers that specialize in electronic media waste such as floppy disks and VHS tapes accept cassette tapes.

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