Every year, hundreds upon thousands of bicycles fall into disrepair, are outgrown, forgotten and eventually destined to rot away in someone’s yard or even worse contribute to the ever-growing landfills and waste streams of this planet. Since 2006, the Charlotte Re-Cyclery (Trips For Kids Charlotte’s community bike shop) has collected donated bicycles to support the empowerment of underserved youth and the growth of cycling in communities throughout Charlotte. We believe that the bicycle is a tool for personal growth and social change.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Trips For Kids Charlotte would like to share with you the circular impact of your bicycle donation!
Trips For Kids Charlotte has supported a circular economic approach to the cycling industry by taking in donated bicycles, parts and accessories and transforming them into not only “new” refurbished bikes, but also youth empowerment programs and to provide community education and maintenance support. The saying “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure” holds true here! Your donation is going to provide the opportunity for others to have access to cycling for mobility, exercise, and/or recreation.
So what happens to a bicycle after it's donated?
Step 1: Safety and operational check.
Once a bike is donated to Trips For Kids Charlotte, one of our trained Charlotte Re-Cyclery staff gives the bicycle a safety and operational assessment.
We first decide if the bicycle is safe enough and is in good enough condition to be reused and refurbished.
Approximately 40% of bicycles donated are not suitable for reuse because they have been damaged through neglect or a physical accident.
If a bicycle is deemed unsafe for reuse, the Charlotte Re-Cyclery will harvest its usable parts and properly recycle all metal and rubber from the bicycle to ensure as little as possible waste ends up in landfills.
Step 2: Program designation
Trips For Kids Charlotte has three main programs. They are our youth Earn-A-Bike Program, our youth Ride Program and our community bike shop program (the Charlotte Re-Cyclery). Beyond our in-house programs, we support the growth of bicycle advocacy programs such as CLT Bike Camp, Learn To Ride CLT, and Salisbury’s Pedal Factory. These programs align with the mission of educating and empowering youth and communities to make cycling a part of their lives.
In 2019, Trips For Kids Charlotte were able to refurbish more than 1700 bikes that were used to support our programs! Additionally, close to 400 bikes went to serve programs pushing cycling forward for the future.
Step 3: The impact of "an old bike"
Last year, over 375 underserved youth earned a bike of their own through our “Earn-A-Bike Program” or explored mountain biking on our refurbished donated bikes through the “Ride Program.” For many youth, the access to bicycles, nature and the education to use them safely is not an option. In addition, nearly 1200 of the donated bikes were refurbished and purchased for reuse by the public.
Through our programs, your donation has an impact on the accessibility of bicycles and knowledge to support cycling for all in Charlotte regardless of your socioeconomic background!
This Earth Day, we need your support!
For Earth Day 2020, we need your help to build a sustainable future for our programs and the environment. Consider donating your unneeded or unwanted bicycle to support the programs of Trips For Kids Charlotte!
Don’t have a bike to donate? Consider a financial donation to support the programs and mission of Trips For Kids Charlotte and the Charlotte Re-Cyclery!
Donate to support here: https://www.paypal.me/tfkc
By Eric Supil