The Cedar Rapids Gazette features a story about Chicago's Working Bikes Cooperative picking up a 28-foot-truckload of bikes from the Cedar Rapids landfill. WBC, a non-profit volunteer organization, will ship the bikes to countries such as Angola, Ecuador, Cuba, and Guatemala. There, the bikes will be repaired—apparently it's more economical that the bikes are refurbished once they've reached their destination—and used for personal transportation or medical deliveries.
According to Darrin Gage, Cedar Rapids' solid waste agency planner, the Cedar Rapids landfill has attempted to keep bikes separated from the landfill since January of 2007. "When it goes to the scrap metal pile, it's recycled, but this is reuse, which is even better," he said. "If you can reuse something, a new product doesn't have to be made."
And that, of course, reflects part of the mission of the Bike Library to a tee— to keep bikes from going to the landfills and put them back to use. It's great to see some of the different ways that people are working to keep unused bikes out of the landfills.
You can read the full Gazette article and watch a brief video here. (And, of course, the Bike Library is always accepting donations of bikes to be fixed up and ridden locally.)
(photo credit: Cedar Rapids Gazette/Courtney Sargent)