Bicycle Recycle Program Wheelie Awesome

Kempsey Shire Council

Discarded bicycles are getting a new lease on life with the success of a pilot bicycle recycling program across the Mid North Coast during March.

Kempsey Shire Council participated in the program, alongside partners Port Macquarie-Hastings and Bellingen Councils, with three participating waste transfer stations across the three council areas on board agreeing to put aside bicycles for collection in March.

Cameron Bate from Recycle Bicycle collected a total of 193 discarded bikes over a four-week period from the three participating transfer stations, deciding which bikes could saved from the scrap heap, and which were unsalvageable.

More than half (56%) of the recovered bicycles were able to be repaired into working bicycles, and a further 23% had useful parts which could be used to repair other bikes, such as pedals, seats, tubes, and tyres, with the remaining parts broken down into metal types, rubber and plastics for recycling.

This left only 21% of collected bikes which were unable to be used and had to be put into landfill.

A true circular economy initiative, not only does this pilot program show that interventions of this kind have the ability to save 80% of discarded bikes from landfill, there is also a positive social impact from bike recycling programs as well.

People were able to purchase cheap bikes from tip shops, with repaired bikes sold for as little as $10 at the Raleigh Bowerhouse, attached to the Bellingen Shire Council waster transfer station.

In a related initiative, Kempsey Shire Council provided grant funding support to the Day @ the Pump Track event held in January 2024, which also featured the bike repair skills of Cameron Bate from Recycle Bicycle.

Organised by the Kinchela Boys Home Aboriginal Corporation, the successful day invited young people to bring their bikes along which needed repairing, as well as being a generally fun day of bike riding, arts and craft, music and food.

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