Sunday, February 1, 2009

Reader Question: Disposing of Old Video Tapes

A reader who requested more decluttering posts asks: Would you consider an article on how to dispose of your old video tapes? I don't want them to sit in a landfill, but I suspect no one will want to watch old TV and movies.

Sure! Here are some options, in no particular order.

1. Offer them on Freecycle. You never know what people will want. I've found new homes for some of my clients' video tapes through my local Freecycle.

2. Check with your local Goodwill or Salvation Army - or any local thrift store.

3. See if a local nursing home or hospital wants them.

4. See if a local homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter wants them.

5. See if your local library (or friends of the library organization) wants them.

6. Ship them off to ACT - Alternative Community Training.

7. Ship them to GreenDisk or Tropical Media for recycling. Update on January 10, 2012: The website for Tropical Media seems to have disappeared.

8. Search for Video Tapes on Earth911.

[photo from makelessnoise, licensed under Creative Commons]


Christy said...

Thanks for answering my query, Jeri!

Jeri Dansky said...

You're very welcome, Christy! And please let me know when you have other questions you'd like me to answer.

Jeri Dansky said...

Someone reported a problem with the link to Tropical Media. I don't know what that was about; I didn't change anything, and it seems to be working fine now. If anyone else has a problem, please let me know.

Rachel said...

There are still a lot of people out there that only have VCR's or still prefer VCR tapes.

But I know our library is drastically reducing the Video tapes - which can be had for 3 weeks instead of the 1 week for a DVD. However, they are now selling the drop offs and culled books at an annual book sale for very cheap - and the money is used to buy new books and DVD's. Unfortunately, they destroy and trash anything that didn't sell or that they deem unsaleable.

Also, many places like hospitals, no longer have VCR players. So call before you try to drop off at places like that.

Our WIC office still uses a VCR, and they love being brought fun commercial quality movies and kid shows. Our wait is often around an hour, so a nice long video is great, especially if the room is crowded.

Jeri Dansky said...

Rachel, you make a good point; you absolutely want to check to make sure the place you're hoping to take the tapes does indeed have a VCR player that it's planning to keep around for a while!

Sheila said...

So--three years later how would you answer this same question? I even have unopened blank tapes. Should they go to a chemical recycling facility?

Jeri Dansky said...

Sheila, not all that much has changed in the past three years. Here's one person's story from February 2011. People in the San Francisco Bay Area can recycle them through GreenCitizen.

Sheila said...

Thanks, Jeri!