Re:Cycling Bikes on a Global Scale


Many ‘keen’ cyclists and even many non ‘keen’ cyclists have more than one bike in their shed: it could be the one you have had since you were young & have grown out of… it could be the one you thought was beyond repair or perhaps even the one you bought on a whim. I think I would have at least 6 bikes in my shed if I had kept hold of all of the bikes I have had since being a teenager!

  • one was grown out of
  • one was stolen
  • one was left to a friend in Paris
  • one is in pieces as I took it apart
  • one was left in Cologne with a simple tag asking for a good home and a good daily ride! (it didn’t fit on my flight home and I ran out of time to find it a suitable home!)
  • So that leaves me with one good bike and one that is in pieces but is due for a radical transformation soon!

However, it seems that there is hope for all of these abandoned bicycles: they can be recycled. Tonight I have done a little bit of searching to see what is going on in relation to Re:Cycling and it seems that there is ALOT happening all over the world. There are lots of great looking local and global projects… so I have begun with global projects (i.e. projects that recycle bikes for use outwith the UK or are based outside the UK) and will take a look at local projects in another post (projects recycling bikes for use within the UK) in a later post.


Pedals for Progress

“If you put enough people on a bicycle they will go out and help themselves”

This impressive American project has shipped 4,723 bikes in 2010 and a massive total of 129,447 in the last 20 years. They rescue bicycles destined for overburdened U.S. landfills and ship them to developing countries where they are highly valued. But why read when you can watch – they have some fab videos by Greg Sucharew on Vimeo.

Bicycles for Humanity

Based in Canada and launched in 2006 this impressive organisation is still relatively young. Yet, as the video demonstrates they have already made a positive impact with their project and have a number of additional chapters now running in Australia, The Netherlands and America.

Re-Cycle Bicycle Aid For Africa

Bicycle Aid for Africa

A truly inspiring project that has been shipping old bikes from the UK to Africa since 1998. The image above details the areas and the sheer quantity of approximately over 36,000 bikes in the last 13 years. They work with a number of African partners.

Bicycles Not Bombs

A great organisation that has been running for 25 years. I particularly like their Earn a Bike’ project which allows people to keep bikes that they have successfully fixed during their time working with the project.

Village Bicycle Project

This project can boast an impressive amount of stats including: 50,000 donated used bikes shipped to Africa since 1999, 10,000 students taught bike repair skill and 18,000 bike tools distributed in 13 African countries. I especially like the ‘People and their bikes’ section of their website.

Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) Namibia

BEN Namibia began was founded in 2005 by an Australian Michael Linke and it aims to empower disadvantaged Namibians through provision of sustainable transport and bicycle-related income generation opportunities. They are working on a number of exciting projects and definitely worth checking out.


Recyke y’bike – Newcastle based

Bikes for the WorldWashington Based

*I must admit that I am feeling a little in awe and a little inspired by some of the amazing bike recycling and community projects that I have been reading about this evening. After, I started making a list of projects which I found to be particularly interesting… I stumbled across the Guardian’s Interactive map of the very same thing, but UK based.


2 Responses to “Re:Cycling Bikes on a Global Scale”

  1. 1 Kim

    You missed the Bike Station’s in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth

    • 2 hazler

      Ah yes, Thanks for the reminder 🙂

      I had planned to talk about these in the next post under this title – Local
      There were so many projects and things happening in the UK I decided to split up writing about them into two posts i.e. ones that work on a ‘local for local’ level and ones that worked on a more global level.

      The Bike Stations are GREAT!

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