How do you recycle VHS cassettes?


Quick Answer

Recycle VHS cassettes by sending them to a company that deals with recycling e-waste. While these companies do charge for the service, they also offer a per pound rate and take other electronics for recycling as well.

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Full Answer

VHS cassettes some of the hardest items to recycle, as they consist of two different kinds of plastic. The outer shell is polypropylene, while the ribbon inside is made of Mylar, a substance composed of polyethylene terephthalate. The ribbon also includes iron oxide and other hazardous metals. The plastic does not biodegrade, and if thrown into a landfill, the metals in the ribbon can soak into the ground. They cannot be incinerated, as the chemicals may pollute the surrounding air.

Instead of recycling VHS cassettes, it may be more practical to simply donate them to thrift stores, retailers that specialize in the sale of outdated media or families with small children who would enjoy them. Numerous crafts to repurpose VHS cassettes into things like clocks, pencil cases and even bookshelves are other ways to avoid filling landfills with their non-biodegradable material.

VHS cassettes were sold in several types of containers. Most were cardboard, and those cases are easily recycled alongside other papers. Others were made of decorative plastic. Occasionally, e-waste facilities take those cases, but if not, they can be reused as storage cases for crayons, notebook covers or even fashioned into purses.

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