Advertisement

Volunteers refurbish bikes from Saskatoon landfill

Click to play video: 'Volunteers refurbish bikes from Saskatoon landfill' Volunteers refurbish bikes from Saskatoon landfill
WATCH ABOVE: Bridge City Bicycle Co-op turning one person's trash into another person's treasure – May 1, 2019

Scott McGibney has always enjoyed working with bikes.

“I used to race way back in the day and even when I was a university student I worked as a bike mechanic for a couple of summers,” McGibney said.

READ MORE: New landfill diversion program bringing the word ‘re-cycling’ to whole new level

It’s why he volunteers his time with the Bridge City Bicycle Co-op (BCBC) – sifting through bikes at Saskatoon’s landfill.

“We look for bikes that can be recovered and rebuilt and returned to use,” he said.

“If they aren’t in good enough shape for that, we’ll try to salvage as many parts as we can.”

Story continues below advertisement
Scott McGibney has been volunteering with the Bridge City Bicycle Co-op for four years refurbishing bikes. Nicole Stillger / Global News

It’s all part of the bike diversion project. Staff at the landfill direct people who are dropping off their bikes to leave them for the co-op instead. If it’s not salvageable, it gets scrapped.

WATCH BELOW: Saskatoon police bike unit back on the road

Click to play video: 'Putting the brakes on crime: Saskatoon police bike unit back on the road' Putting the brakes on crime: Saskatoon police bike unit back on the road
Putting the brakes on crime: Saskatoon police bike unit back on the road – Apr 30, 2018

“We try to scrap as few bikes as possible,” McGibney said.

Story continues below advertisement

He is one of the many volunteers who go through the stacks of bikes – turning one person’s trash into another person’s treasure.

It’s a year-round effort that typically ramps up in the spring.

“Obviously not a lot of people come in for bikes over the winter, so they build up here over the winter,” McGibney said.

“Once the spring season comes everybody’s looking for a bike we start taking them out.”

The bikes are now starting to make their way from the landfill to the shop to be refurbished and used for various kinds of programming like bike maintenance and mechanics.

12
Hundreds of bikes and parts stocked at the Bridge City Bicycle Co-op. Nicole Stillger / Global News
22
Hundreds of bikes and parts stocked at the Bridge City Bicycle Co-op. Global News File

In their first haul of the season, volunteers brought back almost 70 to add to the stock.

Story continues below advertisement

“It’s very surprising the quality of bikes people take to the landfill,” BCBC operations manager Ashely Marshall said.

“Once the bikes here deplete just because of giving them out – we then do a trip so we can fill up and restock.”

READ MORE: Program connects farmers and grocery stores to tackle food waste

In 2018, the organization put almost 400 bikes back on the road. Marshall said they are already seeing a steady stream of people of all ages looking for bikes.

“It’s probably not going to stop until October,” Marshall explained. “We’ll have lineups all summer long.”

That means lots of work for volunteers like McGibney – who said he’s just happy to do his part.

“It’s a very small part, but if everybody does a very small part, turns into a big part.”

Sponsored content