Old bicycle

Action: Repurpose or recycle that old bike in the garage

How many old bikes are stashed away in garages and sheds, or just discarded in our gardens?

Too many, is the answer!

We’ve written on this site many times about recycling and reusing all sorts of things, this time we thought that the thousands of abandoned bicycles across the UK – or in your country if you are elsewhere – could be the subject of a few ideas and for you to take action.

Why is this important?

Many items we discard or abandon could be put to good use or recycled. In the case of bicycles, of course, the material used to make them and “locked up” in them includes lots of metal. Metals are expensive and carbon-intensive to extract, purify, transport and manipulate, so anything we can do to reuse them will bring lots of benefits:

  • reduced demand for new metal to be mined, transported and refined
  • reduced energy use and carbon emissions
  • reduced use of landfill for old metal, and the resulting corrosion and pollution
  • reduced littering of our environment

What to do with that old bike?

Well the first thing to do is to determine whether it is rideable or repairable. If it is, then here are a few ideas:

  • undertake a repair and restore project and then give away or sell the resulting machine
  • involve a child to help them learn about the bike and repair work, great skills to learn!
  • donate to a local specialist charity, here’s an example > https://www.bikeforgood.org.uk/
  • offer up on Facebook Marketplace, someone will take it for repair and restoration

If it isn’t repairable then:

  • take it to the local recycling centre and make sure it goes into the “metals” skip
  • check out local scrap merchants – many will collect old metal for no charge
  • break up for parts to use on other bike repair projects
  • use your bike creatively, for example like this bike-gate …
  • or repurpose around the garden, like this …

Take action

With a little thought and effort you can make sure those old bikes are put to good use, re-use or recycled properly. Any of these has got to be an improvement on wasted metal and other materials just hanging around in our garages and sheds, or cluttering up our gardens as eyesores.

Please also sign up to our fortnightly bulletin “Take Action” using the simple form below … thank you.

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