Like many I have a large pile of redundant VCR tapes. We're moving house so I'm having to landfill them as the local recycling facilities won't take them. Does anyone know of a recycling (or bulk re-purposing) scheme in the UK?

As an aside I am recycling the card outer case into the dry recyclables; my artist son is re-purposing a fair number artistically (one example) and also has made pencil cases out of them, and I myself have used them as the substrate of garden railway buildings (here) where wood, resin or concrete is more typical, but supply is exceeding the demand somewhat.

2 Answers 2


I found this webpage of a company in Bristol called "Environmental Media Solutions" where they say

Environmental Media Solutions are able to recycle 78% of tapes, 100% of CD’s and DVD’s and their cases, leaving just 22% being sent to waste to energy. The service is free of charge for households and is subsidised through the revenues made from our B2B services, though unfortunately we can’t cover postage or shipping costs.

On this form they say the first 100 VCR tapes are free, after that they charge £0.30+VAT per unit

Update (21 aug 2015): the first link is broken and on the EMS website it now says that they "no longer provide a domestic recycling service for households."

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    Excellent! Now we just need to persuade our local council / recyling people to use this service rather than landfill the tapes - or even just add a note to their recycling websites that this facility exists for consumers. Aug 1, 2014 at 10:25

My former local council (Leicestershire) used to take these by the skip loads at the tips. [Reference]

If your home council doesn't, perhaps it might be worth looking into neighbouring councils?

  • It's frustrating that this differs so much place to place. Cambridge was good, but Malvern (where we've moved to) is in the dark ages as regards recycling. Tapes? They don't even collect glass. Sep 10, 2014 at 8:13

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