A group of Bridge City Bicycle Co-op (BCBC) volunteers is taking the word “re-cycling” to a whole new level.
“The landfill staff, for years, has observed that a bunch of bikes would come to the landfill and go into scrap metal. There would be no process for the bikes to go back into the community, even though a lot of the bikes were in really good condition,” BCBC co-director Stan Yu said at the landfill.
City of Saskatoon officials said it gets about 2,000 bikes a year, which are sorted into scrap metal and either melted down or crushed. Now they’re hoping more of these bikes will be saved, thanks to this creative new initiative.
In the first round of the program, which took place in November, volunteers collected about 100 bikes. On Sunday, the group doubled that, diverting 200 bikes from the landfill.
“I think it’s great because it serves a diversion aspect. We want to minimize the waste coming into the landfill, but it also helps kids who need bicycles and it’s a great reuse of the bikes instead of them being scrapped,” Russ Munro, the city’s water and waste stream director, said.
“The landfill staff triages the bikes, pick them out from the scrap metal and put them in a section. Then the BCBC takes over and takes them back to the community,” Yu explained, while taking a break from loading bikes into a U-Haul.
BCBC teaches those who are in need of a bike how to fix them up using spare parts so that it’s good enough for them to take home. It’s free for kids and by donation for adults.
“This year at the BCBC was the first time we ever had a shortage of bikes,” Yu said.