Tale of the tape 

Recycling those old VHS, cassette and Betamax tapes

click to enlarge vhs-cassette.jpg

I’m writing as an archivist who needs to recycle old VHS, Betamax and cassette tapes. I do know the tapes themselves are toxic when burned (which is what will happen to them if we toss them in the trash in Indianapolis). Several places in town used to recycle them, but they no longer do. The only place I’ve found that will take them is GreenDisk, but the materials must be shipped across the country. Any good alternatives or bright ideas? I’ll share your answer with other Indiana archivists in similar positions. Many thanks,


RELATED: IN Legislature v. the environment, 2016


I think you’ll appreciate that I turned to the Ask Renee archives for your answer. And since it’s right around Groundhog Day, I thought it would be appropriate to repeat it just for you!

Sally, sweetheart, I hope you don’t mind that I use Terms of Endearment when I tell you that there is a place in Indianapolis that will recycle old tapes. As you surmise, there’s some kind of Weird Science with recycling tapes that’s best left to the specialized plastics recycling Goonies at Plastic Recycling Inc.

They will grind up old tapes and start the process of turning them into new products. They are only open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. though, which can be challenging unless it’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Anyway, I don’t want to turn this in to The Neverending Story of recycling. That’s actually The Secret of My Success — short and sweet answers to your green questions!

Piece out, Renee

(EDITOR'S NOTE: Renee Sweaney has been penning this column for Indiana Living Green for years, and we've begun making her work available on both indianalivinggreen.com and nuvo.net. And, NO, "Piece out" is not a typo! See here.)


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Renee Sweany

Renee Sweany

Renee has spent the past several years surrounding herself with like-minded people who share her passion for caring for the planet. She began writing “Ask Renee” after four years of offering green tips through her e-newsletter Green Piece Indy. E-mail her your green living queries at rsweany@sbcglobal.net.

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