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Does Goodwill Take VHS tapes – Donation Guide

As you dust off the cobwebs from your attic, a familiar, rectangular object might catch your eye – a VHS tape. The sight of it instantly transports you back to the ’90s, the era of Blockbuster and home movie nights.

These VHS tapes, now deemed as vintage media, are experiencing a resurgence in popularity due to rising nostalgia. However, as the world advances technologically, we must ponder how to responsibly dispose of such outdated media. One organization that springs to mind is Goodwill. But does Goodwill take VHS tapes? Let’s dive deep into Goodwill’s policies and practices regarding VHS tapes.

The Decline of VHS Tapes

The VHS era was iconic, but like all good things, it had to come to an end. With the advent of DVDs, Blu-rays, and the convenience of digital streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, the VHS’s reign as the dominant home entertainment format was disrupted.

Today, these tapes have become relics in many households, creating unique disposal challenges due to their non-biodegradable nature and potential harm to the environment.

The Fate of VHS Tapes at Goodwill

While Goodwill strives to accept a broad array of items, the acceptance of VHS tapes depends on factors such as their condition, the store’s capacity, and the demand for such items in the resale market. Some anecdotes suggest that Goodwill accepts VHS tapes, while others point to the contrary.

This discrepancy might be due to the decentralized nature of Goodwill’s operations, where each regional branch has the autonomy to set its own donation acceptance policies.

Table: Goodwill’s Acceptance of Different Kinds of VHS Tapes

Type of VHS Tape Accepted by Goodwill Not Accepted by Goodwill
Commercial Movies Varies by region Varies by region
Personal Recordings Varies by region Varies by region
Rare or Collector’s Items Varies by region Varies by region
Damaged Tapes No Yes
Blank Tapes Varies by region Varies by region

Please note that this table is a generalized representation and the acceptance of these items can vary from one Goodwill store to another. It’s always best to check with your local Goodwill store before donating.

Alternatives for VHS Tape Disposal

As nostalgic as they may be, VHS tapes can become an environmental hazard if not disposed of properly. Their plastic composition takes hundreds of years to decompose, causing harm to the environment. Luckily, several recycling options exist for VHS tapes.

Some companies specialize in recycling VHS tapes, and there are niche organizations and community centers that accept them for educational or artistic purposes.

DIY Projects and Upcycling VHS Tapes

Repurposing VHS tapes can be a fun and creative way to deal with your old collection. These tapes can be transformed into a variety of functional or decorative items, from picture frames to handbags.

Many individuals and artists have showcased their innovative ideas and inspiring examples of VHS tape upcycling online, proving that one man’s trash can indeed become another man’s treasure.


Goodwill helps people by selling donated items, but whether they take VHS tapes can depend on where you are. Since VHS isn’t as popular anymore and can harm the environment if thrown away, it’s good to think about how to get rid of them properly.

Goodwill stores have different rules, so it’s a good idea to call your local store to see if they accept VHS tapes. If not, there are special recyclers for VHS tapes, or you could get creative and make something new out of them. Remember, Goodwill won’t take stuff that’s broken or could be dangerous. If you have something to donate, check with them first to see if they can use it.


What items does Goodwill not accept?

Goodwill does not accept items that are broken, damaged, or in non-working condition. They also do not accept hazardous materials, large appliances, mattresses, or any items recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Does Goodwill accept VHS tapes?

The acceptance of VHS tapes at Goodwill can vary from region to region. It’s best to contact your local Goodwill store to confirm their current donation policies regarding VHS tapes.

How do you donate to Goodwill?

To donate to Goodwill, simply gather the items you wish to donate, ensure they are in good condition, and drop them off at a local Goodwill store or donation center during their operating hours. It’s recommended to call ahead and confirm the items they currently accept.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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