How to donate used VHS tapes

Updated July 20, 2017

Perhaps you are looking to reclaim some extra space in your home or are just tired of looking at those dusty, unused VHS tapes you've accumulated over the years. You want to get rid of the tapes but would rather not toss them in the trash. After all, they are perfectly good movies that still can be enjoyed. Donating the unwanted tapes is rewarding, easy and keeps the world just a little greener as you are choosing to reuse rather than destroy.

Call your local village hall and explain that you have a number of VHS tapes you would like to donate. Most towns have community centres that would be delighted to take your tapes. From after-school services for children to senior cooperatives, there are many opportunities for your tapes to be enjoyed. They will either pick them up from your home or you can drop them off at your convenience.

Contact all of the nursing homes and rehabilitation centres in your area, using a phone directory or online sources. Many of the individual rooms have the capability of playing VHS tapes, and residents will appreciate an assortment of new movie titles to help them through a difficult day. Map out the locations that were happy to unload your burden, and find out what the best times are to drop them off.

Take the VHS tapes to a local resale shop that sells various media, including VHS tapes. They either will offer a small price for the entire collection, usually omitting some titles. Offer to donate the entire lot to them, and ask that the titles that aren't sold are brought to a local charity. The owners will be thrilled at your gesture, and you will be supporting a local business through your donation.

Check the weather updates for your area, and look for the next day that is free from rain and high winds. Neatly box up your unwanted tapes, and line the boxes near the curb. Write with a dark, permanent marker: "Free Tapes." It's a great gift to your neighbours, and you will be surprised how quickly the tapes will disappear.


Donations are tax deductible, so be sure to ask for a receipt from whoever takes them off your hands.


Be sure not to include any inappropriate titles to youth-populated organisations.

Things You'll Need

  • Boxes
  • Unwanted VHS tapes
  • Black marker
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About the Author

A Chicago native, Jennifer Volino has been a self-employed artist and multimedia performer since 1992. She regularly hosts fine arts exhibits at her art gallery, also writing and producing theatrical productions throughout Chicago. Volino holds a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Illinois.