The most environmentally sound decision is to recycle tape for reuse. The recycling of tape media is an environmentally superior alternative to disposal. Recycling is also a cost-effective solution. The total cost to have tape removed and physically destroyed can be as much as $2 to $5 per tape. This fee covers the cost to securely transport tape to the service facility and perform its destruction and disposal. For recycling, the cost for tape disposal is very different because the end product can be reused and has value. The end product of tape destruction is solid waste and has no value. Disposal service providers who recycle can reduce the disposal cost by selling the end product for certified reuse. They can pass these savings to you, making recycling far more cost effective than physical destruction. Often the net financial result is a positive contribution to the tape owner of either cash or credit for new tapes.
Remember, one difficulty with LTO tape media disposal is that the tape itself is not a biodegradable product making it a challenge to dispose of responsibly. The plastic and metal components that make up LTO are destined to become solid waste and sit in land fills for hundreds of years.