How Can We Recycle Old Cassette Tapes?

Posted on May 6, 2009 by Courtney

I’m getting ready to move, which means I’ve started the unholy task of packing. Boy, do I hate packing. I do my best to keep down the amount of clutter in my home, not only because it’s eco-friendly to buy less stuff, but also because I cannot stand junk lying around. Still, it feels like I have a lot of stuff when I try to pack and move it all.

I was cleaning out a closet the other day and came across some cassette tapes from a certain few ’80s bands WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS. Admit it; you know you enjoyed some terrible music in your formative years, too. After I finished trying to remember the numerous dance routines I made up in my backyard to these gems, I decided I should get rid of ye olde technology.

Which brings me to my question: Does anyone out there know a place that will recycle cassette tapes? I don’t want to throw them in the trash, but I’ve looked online and I’m having trouble finding someone who will take them. I’m willing to send them someplace in the mail if there’s no place to recycle them locally. They’re not just tapes I bought with my allowance back in the day; there’s a few mixed tapes in there too.

While we’re at it, I also have a bunch of old floppy disks. Remember when computers had disk drives? Ahh, those were the days. Anyway, I’d also appreciate any suggestions on places to recycle those.

Okay, fine. I have Genesis tapes, okay? I liked “I Can’t Dance” when I was 10. You may now commence mocking.

21 Comments +

  1. I have “I can’t dance” on cassette single. I am physically unable to part with it, so I don’t have an answer for your question.

    May 6th, 2009 at 5:59 am
    Comment by Noelle
  2. Dunno about recycling but I have reuse for ya. Find a preschool. Cassette tape makes great puppet hair!

    May 6th, 2009 at 8:27 am
    Comment by JessTrev
  3. You might find these pages useful on our site, Recycle This:

    How can I reuse or recycle cassette tapes?

    and

    How can I reuse or recycle floppy discs?

    We’ve had LOTS of reuse suggestions for both – and related items like floppy disc boxes and video tapes.

    And iirc, there are people collecting both items if you don’t fancy reusing them yourself.

    May 6th, 2009 at 8:48 am
    Comment by louisa
  4. The first album I ever bought with my own money was Tiffany’s self-titled debut, so I am in no position whatsoever to judge your Genesis love.

    The puppet hair suggestion cracks me up.

    May 6th, 2009 at 9:28 am
    Comment by Stefanie
  5. I had I Can’t Dance too. And probably still do, in the basement in a box, along with Bobby Brown, Milli Vanilli, and Paul Abdul.

    I love the puppet idea – I know there’s a bunch of places that collect random things to be reused as art supplies. http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/REuse/Links/Art.htm A friend of mine used to work at one in Oregon.

    May 6th, 2009 at 10:40 am
    Comment by Allie
  6. What’s wrong with Genesis – they’re awesome!

    May 6th, 2009 at 1:14 pm
    Comment by kir
  7. I’m a Jon Bon Jovi fan :-) Hell, I love everything ’80s and cheesy, and that includes Dirty Dancing.

    As for the question of how to recycle them: contact Best Buy or some other electronics realtor. They’ll probably be able to point you in the right direction. Alternatively, I’m pretty sure local colleges have tech-recycling programs of some sort; it may cost you to piggyback, but I don’t think they’ll mind.

    May 6th, 2009 at 3:13 pm
    Comment by Jules
  8. Dance routines! YES!! I totally remember making up routines to songs. If only I could actually remember the steps…

    May 6th, 2009 at 3:30 pm
    Comment by Charm City Kim
  9. It looks like http://www.greendisk.com/ is the only viable solution. Thanks for posting this I needed to find a way to dispose of my old cassettes as well… Sorry no titles will be given up;-)

    Robert

    May 7th, 2009 at 8:51 am
    Comment by Robert Nelk
  10. I had “I Can’t Dance” on cd…but I had a cd player at an early age. 12? 13? I still have tons of old tapes and never really thought about what to do with them. Some I can’t replace as they were demos for bands or obscure albums from bands that I can’t find on cd or as an mp3 but I have some that were just mixes for listening to in the car.

    You can also contact your local recycling agency for your area. I know my city recycler takes old computers and discs, they may takes cassette tapes as well.

    May 7th, 2009 at 1:25 pm
    Comment by Melissa
  11. I’m pretty sure I have ‘I Can’t Dance’ as a cassette single, but we all know I have no shame in admitting my music tastes. I actually have a box of stuff I was going to try to send to that Green Disk company that Robert mentioned because they’ll take so many different kinds.

    May 7th, 2009 at 5:13 pm
    Comment by The Modern Gal
  12. Mock, mock, mock, mock, mock, mock, MOCK, mock, mock!

    I can’t help you here. Wait- shouldn’t YOU be the one telling ME where to recycle these things? Good luck on your quest.

    May 7th, 2009 at 5:59 pm
    Comment by mickey
  13. Iloveschools.com is a great place to donate lots of things — you can search for a needy school that needs whatever item you have, including floppy disks and such.

    August 8th, 2009 at 11:11 am
    Comment by Lor
  14. [...] – lamps, more lamps, furniture, ties, and art that impresses. It seems like there are lots of bloggers out there who don’t want their cassettes in a landfill, but very few people with concrete recycling [...]

    November 12th, 2009 at 4:31 pm
    Pingback by Prosaic Paradise » Purge Thursday: Mess o’ Cassettes
  15. As for the question of how to recycle them: contact Best Buy or some other electronics.
    Recycling Software

    January 6th, 2011 at 3:19 pm
    Comment by Truck Scale
  16. I saw a show called She’s Crafty yesterday. You can reuse them, making a nice card holder! Check out this page: http://www.hgtv.ca/articles/articledetails.aspx?ContentId=2915&cat=2&by=5

    January 8th, 2011 at 4:45 pm
    Comment by Kayla
  17. If you get on Earth911.com, you can put in your zip code and find places where you can recycle many unwanted materials. There is an organization in OH (A.C.T.) that takes cassette tapes (and cases). It is a mail-in program.

    June 7th, 2011 at 1:21 pm
    Comment by Michelle
  18. I am always back and forth to our local charity shop which is in Coleshill and I live in Coleshill and the charity shop takes everything except cassettes. I have a few cassettes as I still am able to play cassettes, I also have some ones which I do not want but the charity shop wont take them because virtually nobody wants them. Any ideas what I can do with them.

    August 14th, 2011 at 4:25 am
    Comment by Jonathan
  19. Don’t throw your old cassettes away – I will buy your collections. Can collect in the Midlands area.

    email me at SHELTONFARLEY@aol.com

    December 10th, 2011 at 4:29 pm
    Comment by Bryan
  20. A friend and i recently organised a dance for a camp, it was 80′s themed, so we pulled out heaps of tape from old cassettes and used it like streamers… there is such an incredible amount of tape in each cassette, we nearly covered the whole ceiling! and the disco lights looked awesome reflecting off all the bits of shiny tape. Then we just left the actual cassettes hanging in random places. It looked really cool. You can bundle up heaps of the tape and clump it in the corners too.

    January 27th, 2012 at 8:17 am
    Comment by Carley
  21. I LOVE this idea! It must have looked amazing!

    January 27th, 2012 at 9:35 am
    Comment by Allie

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