Recycle Your Bike
Do you have an old bike you don't need any more? Rather than letting it rust in the shed, how about donating it to Re-Cycle charity for their Bikes to Africa scheme.
- Re~Cycle is a UK charity committed to improving life prospects through the provision of cheap, sustainable transport in Africa.
- From the Re-Cycle website: 'We believe that bicycles offer people a route out of poverty and a means to improve their lives, giving them opportunities to travel to work and school. Bicycles can also be adapted to carry goods and passengers giving small scale farmers and traders the opportunity to reach customers further afield or take more produce to market. They are also an invaluable resource for traveling health workers coping with the AIDS epidemic.
- We receive donations of unwanted bikes from individuals, businesses and organisations such as the Royal Mail, Rotary Clubs, Schools and Churches. These are checked over and sound bikes are prepared for shipment before being loaded into containers (approx. 400 each time) and sent to our various partner organisations in Africa. There, they are refurbished before being distributed by our African partners.
- Many of our partners also teach repair and maintenance skills, providing a community resource which keeps people on their bikes and mobile. Damaged bikes or bikes in poor condition are stripped down and the spare parts are also sent to Africa.'
What Kinds of Bike Do They Want?
- Mountain bikes and hybrids - these strong bikes are particularly suitable for unmade African roads.
- City and commuter cycles (often with 3-speed hubs, mudguards and parcel carriers) - these are very practical cycles and 3 speed hubs are low maintenance
- Shopper bikes (with small wheels, typically with 3-speed hubs, mudguards and parcel carriers) - these are very easy to ride, even for inexperienced cyclists, and are very quickly adjustable for riders of different heights.
- Road Bikes (Racing and Touring cycles with drop handle bars and narrow tyres) - although these are not happy on rough, unmade roads, they can be sent to a few projects based in cities that have better road conditions. Touring bikes are sturdy.
- Full-suspension bikes - if these are in at least reasonable condition. Many budget bikes of of this type are of poor build quality. Good quality ones are very suitable for use on rough roads in Africa.
- 3 wheeled Adult Trikes - great for less able bodied riders.
- If a cycle is very rusty and you don't think they will be able to strip out anything useful, it would be better to take it to your local scrap-metal recycling point. Cycles that have been kept in a shed or garage and just have a bit of rust, a layer or two of dust and/or flat tyres are OK.
How Can I Donate My Bike?
- Bikes for Re-Cycle can be taken to one of their collection points in London, Essex or Middlesex.
- Halfords stores collect bikes for Re-cycle once a year - check for next collection date before taking your old bike along!
- See www.re-cycle.org for more information.