• Morgan Fagg

Tapes, why did it have to be tapes?

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

There Is Something About recycling that can be very therapeutic and thought-provoking and I felt a little like Indiana Jones as I rummaged through the ancient artifacts of my friend's family home.

From Beta to VHS and Laserdiscs to boxes and boxes of CDs, we stacked and stored the various forms of cassettes and diskettes and tried to see what we could recycle as I Googled VHS and Laserdisc recycling and found the best thing we could do was separate the covers which sometimes slipped off easily for newer cardboard cases and sometimes had to be cut out of older cases.

Beta cassettes had to be cut out of their tight cases and we recycled cardboard cases from plastic cases and stacked boxes of VHS tapes that we brought to the recycling centre.

The idea is to keep the tapes out of a landfill and to be properly recycled, you would need to unscrew four screws at the back and remove the aluminum or stainless steel piece inside and separate the reels.

If you did all that then you could probably throw the plastic into a plastic kerbside recycling bin.

There was much more than tapes of course and I tried to make sure that all potentially valuable items were salvaged. My girlfriend sorted four large boxes of CDs, kept a Kriss Kross CD and found four family photo albums on CD that dated back to 2002.

How many digital photos have been lost to poor backup and storage and broken hard drives?

Wait, 2002, who was even using digital photography in 2002, we were using rolls of film.

Miles and miles of analog audiovisual storage that has been replaced by smaller and smaller digital devices that double in capacity and half in price every few years.

Tapes, why did it have to be tapes? I hate tapes.

The wine cellar was much more fruitful and luckily no large boulders came tumbling towards me as my friend confessed that he had watched Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull the night before.

He hates the film and I showed him the original VHS masterpieces even though I don't hate the last Indiana Jones film as much as others do and I appreciate the fantastic Doom Town scene and will give the digital Indiana Jones a pass for having John Hurt in it and the incredible nuclear blast scene.

Not all the tapes were special editions like There's Something About Mary as some were wrapped in plastic and still unopened but as we discarded these moulded memories we once had to rewind, I knew it was an end of an era where CDs and DVDs will soon find themselves on the scrap pile too with the words of Indiana Jones,

"Anything goes."

CHINA TOWN: Anna finds an umbrella in this Warrior scene.

REMEMBER BE KIND, RECYCLE and who knows what valuables you might find.

Now to try the Champagne we found, recycling is thirsty work during a heatwave.

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