Your old bike may be two-tired, but don’t retire it to the landfill just yet.
Recycle-A-Bike started 13 years ago as a group of volunteers who made it their mission to help members of the community repair their bicycles. What began in a basement has now moved into an official – and new – shop; this Providence nonprofit is now recycling bikes and changing their neighborhood.
Through various programs and initiatives, Recycle-A-Bike works to educate, empower and build up their community by connecting people and bicycles. Bikes mean more to the neighborhood than just a leisurely ride on a sunny Saturday morning, for a large number of people, they are an “expression of freedom.”
Saving 600 Bikes From the Landfill: Why Recycling Bikes Is Important
Recycle-A-Bike evolved into the organization it is today “because so many people in Providence rely on bikes for transportation,” explains Ally Trull, Education Director at Recycle-A-Bike. People use bikes to get to and from work and school. But when a bike suffers a broken chain or another problem, people are more likely to toss it on the curb instead of having it repaired.
Proving their worth, Recycle-A-Bike has saved more than 600 bicycles that would have ended up in a landfill in the past year alone.
Recycled Bikes Are Out on the Streets
Recycle-A-Bike teaches community members how to fix and repair their own bikes using donated and recycled bike parts through their Build-A-Bike program.
“It’s amazing what you can do with other people’s trash. We turn donated parts and bikes into usable things for members of the community.”
Ally Trull | Recycle-A-Bike
Recycled bikes are also given to local charities to make sure they are put to good use. Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island had refugees in the area that needed reliable transportation, so Recycle-A-Bike stepped in with a donation.
Harvest Cycle Compost uses pedal power to collect compost for local farms, and have also been helped through recycled bikes.
Most Common Bike Issues That Can Be Fixed
- Flat Tires: There’s no need to throw away a bike because of a flat tire. Instead of replacing the entire bike or tire, you can simply patch the hole.
- Rust: Rusted chains on a bike impact how smooth the ride is, but a new chain is a simple solution.
- Damaged Brakes: This renders a bike unusable, but can be fixed with new parts.
Pedaling Forward in Providence
“Our main impact in the community has been creating a space where people can feel empowered by what they are learning and leave with an autonomous mode of transportation. People come in with broken bikes, and they need them in order to get to work. We help fix their bike and teach them skills so that they won’t need help in the future.”
Ally Trull | Recycle-A-Bike
Recycle-A-Bike provides interactive programming to community members and hands-on instruction all while saving bikes that would have been tossed in a landfill. We hope their wheels keep spinning well into the future.
Budget Dumpster is your community-focused source for a dumpster rental in Providence. If you know of another great organization making a difference in the community, let us know in the comments!