A terrible business to have gotten into in the late '90s: Manufacturing newspaper boxes. But a great business to be in now, is collecting, refurbishing and repurposing them. Now that digital media is nearly finished eviscerating its dead-tree victims, the market is awash in newspaper boxes that no longer have a purpose.
Pennsylvania-based Impact Racks started out as the first kind of company, and has now transitioned into the second. "Every week, we drive hundreds and hundreds of miles to pick up retired racks," writes the company, which has been in business for 30 years. "Often these are racks we initially sold to the newspapers."
"We bring them back to our shop where we begin the upcycling process. After removing the head of the newspaper rack we sand down the entire box. Next we prime and coat them with fresh paint and decals."
Fans of branding will appreciate that Impact Racks still has all of the original stencils.
Buyers have repurposed the racks into record-playing stations, Little Free Libraries and donation boxes.
The racks run from $260 to $450, depending on options. And "each purchase," they write, "helps to keep around 85 lbs. of metal out of the landfill."
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What an amazing idea! Portland is awash with these boxes. Hmmmmm.