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How to Recycle Bicycles

How to Recycle Bicycles

Please don't toss your old or outgrown bicycle into the garbage

There are so many ways your bicycle can be reused and you may even collect some money for your old one and help pay for the new one.  

There are NFPs in most capital cities who collect old bikes, but here are a few options to re-home or re-purpose your bicycle:

  • Sell your old bicycle online, in a garage sale or at the market with some other old stuff.

  • Donate your bike to a charity like Bicycles for Humanity, Bikes 4 Life, Bike Love Corral, MTC Solutions or check if your local Op Shop will take it from you. 

  • If your bicycle is metal, you can take it to a scrap metal dealer.

  • Put it out front on the footpath with a sign. The odds of someone taking it are very high.
  • Get creative and turn it into a clock, picture frame, table, light fitting, pots holder, seat, garden trellis, lazy susan, paper weight or hanging hook. Some people have even turned a bunch of them into a fence. Bicycles are incredibly versatile with most of their parts reusable in a new life.

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Science Notes

For the past one hundred years or so, bicycle frames have been mostly made from steel tubing. Over the years, the walls of the tubing has thinned out and bikes become lighter. Steel is still used, but bike frames are now also made of titanium, aluminium and increasingly of carbon fibre, especially as it becomes cheaper to make. 

Related Tip

Carbon fibre is an environmental nightmare. The carbon fibre production process is dirty, it is difficult to repair, expensive to recycle and it isn't particularly biodegradable. Carbon fibre is a composite product, designed to last for a very long time and that is just what it is doing in landfill.