Monday, October 01, 2007


i'm not entirely sure how i feel about this:

Rockcycle uses a proprietary process to transform iconic album covers and the vinyl discs inside into non-audio products such as purses, notebooks and magnets. Stains and other wear and tear are preserved inside a clear laminate.

"There is a lot of great album art that's going to waste due to the digital age, and we're recycling that art and keeping it out in circulation," said Nancy Wagner, Jeff's spouse.

part of me thinks this is pretty cool, and wants to head down to castleton to see what they have in stock, maybe buy some stuff.

but as a collector and fan of the vinyl format, another part of me can't help but feel this is a waste of good records.

don't get me wrong; there are millions of junk records out there that would benefit from being transformed into a purse or a bowl. go into any thrift store and check out their vinyl: half of it will be old christian records, crappy compilations put out by shell oil, and other junk that nobody would ever want to listen to again. however, if you watch the video, it's clear that these are not the records that are being recycled. no, rockcycle only destroys the good records, the ones that someone might actually want to buy and listen to.

in other words, you might not find a lot of merchandise there made out of sing along with mitch records, but apparently you will find the beatles, because a beatles purse is shown in the video. good-quality beatles records are still a bit hard to come by, as the beatles are still quite popular. but it's virtually impossible to go through a used record section without stumbling across some sing along with mitch or herb alpert's whipped cream mixes. (if you manage to do so, someone has probably gotten tired of looking at them all and thrown them in the dumpster.) so it should be obvious which records need to be recycled, and yet those are precisely the ones least likely to be recycled at rockcycle.

i guess i need to reserve final judgment until i've had a chance to go there and check the place out. for one thing, i have no idea what the prices are like; i'll be a lot more forgiving if prices are reasonable.

on the other hand, it also looks like they have stuff made out of old cassette tapes, and i have no problem with that.


Anonymous said...

My friend maybe I can ease your worried mind a bit. Rockcycle uses records that otherwise would have no life what so ever. Yes you will see Beatles and such in a mall store, but keep in mind that a good portion of the supply comes from used record stores from around the country who use to "86" (trash) these babies just for having a skip. Rockcycle gives them a new life while giving these stores some cash for their trouble. Certainly a record store would not sell anything that would be of value to them. Vinyl collectors only want the playable records...and this is a real fact.

I think you will be surprised to see a good mix of stuff at the store. Yes a good bit of it will be mainstream artist for sale...because well...that's where the demand is and that is what keeps the lights on. But all one has to do is request a Boxcar Willie notebook and one's wish will come true. It might not be in the store but it is held in a warehouse. Many non-mainstream artist records end up being made into things for waste management companies who use them as give-a-ways at fairs and such to promote recycling. Actually they collect records for Rockcycle (yes, pick them out of the trash) that use to just fill the land fill. Sure the mainstream goodies go to the "retail" masses. It's just good business. If people begin to demand Boxcar Willie, then I'm sure it will be in the store...but for now it's sold to a third party who gives it away. Nothing goes to waste.

At Rockcycle, collector records are sold to collectors and "unabused" records (that look good but have no real collector value) are placed in an easy open frame that can be displayed as art or taken out and played...but they are not guaranted to be skipped free....they are sold as art...because they were received as someone's trash.

Finally, if you take the time to look again at the video you will see the Beatles white album being discussed. At the bottom part of this part of the video you will see a photograph on the counter. Look closely. It shows the horrible state in which this album was in prior to its new life as a purse. The thing had rotten in two from mold.

I've read that Rockcycle gets funding from recycling grants that require them to process their entire supply in one form or another.

In a nutshell. At least someone is doing something to promote recycling among the suburbanites, humvee owners and mall rats. I'm sure the rent is through the roof there and so I think they are to be applauded for the effort. Sure everybody won't be totally satisfied by every move the company makes...but at least they are moving in the right direction.


stAllio! said...

I've read that Rockcycle gets funding from recycling grants [...]

it's okay; you don't have to pretend that you don't work there. i wrote something skeptical of your business and you wanted to respond. i'm cool with that.

p.s. i'll definitely check it out next time i'm in castleton.

Anonymous said...

As a customer (and an antique collector) that has purchased several items from both the Rockcycle stores, I don't see what the fuss is about. I had them custom make me a Doris Day purse and I wouldn't consider her to be anything like the Beatles. Besides, the Beatles sold millions of albums. How many "Singing
with Mitch" albums do you think were made? It doesn't take a genius to come to the conclusion that would be more Beatles records that would need recycled. Mainstream artists have sold many more albums than nonmainstream artists. Therefore, there will be more mainstream items available for recycling purposes.