Donating Used Bikes and Parts, Finding Pre-owed Bikes & International Bicycle Recycling Programs

bar.jpg (792 bytes)


Individuals with Surplus Bicycles to

you are an individual with a bicycle or two, or bicycle parts and accessories to donate
for repair, reuse and recycling, it is usually
most practical and cost effective to donate them to a local program. In some
areas you have a choice of directing you bike to an organization that will use
it internationally or to a domestic program.  We have
three pages to check that can help you find local
or not-so-local organizations that might want your bike(s);

  1. youth bike programs
    (local recycling)
  2. bike library /
    community bike programs
    (local recycling)
  3. organizations
    collecting and redistributing used bicycles domestically and internationally

If you have only bicycle parts, and can’t find
an organization that will accept then, we have collected a little addition
information on recycling bicycle parts.

Organizations Requesting

Click on this link for a list of organizations requesting
new or used bikes

If you are in a less developed region and would like a shipment of bikes,

let us
know and we will use our network to try and find an organization that would like to
collect the bikes, and prepare and send the shipment. We have also posted contact
information for a few of the organizations
shipping and distributing bicycles domestically and  internationally

Bear in mind: 1) The organizations collecting and shipping used bikes tend to
be able to find plenty of bikes, but they are all short on money for shipping.
Organizations requesting bikes have a better chance of getting bikes if they can
secure the shipping money from another source. 2) It is as easy or easier to
send a full container of bikes (about 450) as it is to arrange for a lesser
amount.  And, 3) Bear in mind that these programs deal in used bikes, which
are in all different conditions of ridability. These bicycle-recycling
arrangements works best when the receiving organization has a bicycle mechanic
training component in its mission to help fix-up the bikes for other end users
they might have in their program.

Organizations Requesting Bicycle Mechanic

Click on this link for a lists of
requesting trainers

If you are in a less developed region
and would like to receive bicycle mechanic training, especially if you can offer
the trainer room, board and/or a stipend, let us know and we will use our
network to find an individual that would like to work with you. Some of the
organizations shipping and
distributing bicycles internationally
also provide
this kind of program so investigate them too.

Individuals interested in providing bicycle mechanic

If you are interested in volunteering with an international bicycle
recycling program training mechanics and/or teaching bicycle repair and helping
to administer the distribution end of one of these programs check the lists of
requesting trainers
and organizations
distributing bicycles internationally

Organizations Collecting, Shipping and Distributing
Used and Refurbished Bicycles

Click on this link for a list of organizations
shipping and distributing bicycles internationally

If your organization would like to make
a shipment of bikes to a less developed region, but don’t know of a recipient,
let us know and we will use our network to help you find one.  We have also
posted information from organizations requesting
. For a guide on doing you own international bicycle recycling
program click here.

Individuals wanting to
find a used / pre-owned / second hand bicycle

you are looking for a used bicycle there is no surefire way to get one, but
there is likely one available if you have a little persistence.  Here are
some leads:

  1. Freecycle Join and participate in your
    local freecycle groups.

  2. Craig’s List There are local Craig’s
    List around the world.  Bicycle show up in the for sale section (sometimes
    for a song)

  3. Youth Bike
    Depending upon your circumstances this may be a source for a used
  4. Bike
    Library / Community Bike Programs
    . Each of these programs have a
    different structure.  Some will help people to get a bike.
  5. Cruise garage sales and yard sales.
  6. Attend auctions (Police auctions) and estate sales.
  7. Check community bulletin board with for sale items (college campuses at
    the end of the year can be a good source.)
  8. Survey the thrift and second-hand stores: Goodwill, Salvation Army, used
    sporting goods.
  9. Some bicycle shops sell used bikes.

(Reusing) Bicycle Parts

Many of the organization collecting
bicycles to be shipped internationally will also take “usable” bicycle
parts.  The beauty of these is they can be packed in the airspace between
the bikes, so it is as if the parts travel for free, yet they add value to the

Unfortunately, by the time most people are shedding parts they
are pretty much beyond “useable”.  Depending upon the items there
are different preferred actions:

Architecture: For inspiration on
DIY bicycle
, domes, egg, energy tower, trusses.

Aluminum parts:  Rims,
especially have been given second lives as furniture (see Bike
Furniture Design
). Even if you don’t have the hankering to be a craftsperson,
or get the materials to someone who is, there is still enough value in aluminum
that it is often cost effective to separate it out and sell it as scrap to a metal

Inner tubes: Inner tubes have a lot of secondary uses before they need
to be discarded.  In Africa, a patched quality inner tube can be better
than a new Chinese inner tube (which tend to split).  Large-size, patchable, inner tubes can be sent to the
Village Bicycle Project
, c/o Craig Lorch, Total Reclaim, 1915 S Corgiat Dr,
Seattle WA 98108, and they will be sent to Africa.  Unpatchable
inner tubes can be woven and used as webbing for chairs and to weave purses and
bags. They are also great for “tie-downs”.  Inner tubes can be used for
tying loads to racks, or trailers or hanging things from the ceiling. 

Tires: Generally bicycle tires can be recycled in the same manner as
vehicle tires.  Many bike shops will collect and store used tires, which
are then delivered to cooperating vehicle tire stores for there tire recycling
programs, or picked up by licensed tire / rubber recyclers.  Many
jurisdictions have protocols for how tires can be disposed of legally.  A
quick Internet search for “tire recycler” with your geographical area should put
you onto what are the best-practices locally.

If you are a gardener, here is a DIY reuse idea:  A stack of mountain bike tires turned inside out and supported
with rod or canes stuck into the ground, make very good composters stack. Some tires
are better for this than others.

If you are near northwest Argentina, Cata Marca Project is recycling tires.
For more information contact:
[email protected]

Chains, chain rings, etc.:  Chains can be use by local artists
for creative pieces —
ask around. They also can have a second life in Africa after they are considered
surplus in the industrial world.

If you are motivated, there are instructions floating
around the Internet on how to make crafts like belts and wallets from busted
tubes and picture frames from chains. If you have exhausted your local options
you can check with Resource
and Bike
Furniture Design

Residual: The best you can do with the residual is to steer it to
a metal recycler.  For them to accept the item all of the rubber and
plastic will need to be removed.  You will need
recruit socially minded free labor to make this work.

If you have ideas to add to this section please
write us..


Source Article