Circular economy

Re-Cycle: recycling bicycles for the development of Africa

Questo post è disponibile anche in: Italian

The British association sends bicycles to rural areas to lend a hand to those who have to cover long distances on foot.

To recover second hand bicycles and send them to rural areas in Africa, where no public transport is available and people have to cover long distances on foot to reach schools, doctors or workplaces. This is the mission of Re-Cycle, a British non-profit organisation that promotes development in Africa by providing cheap and zero-impact means of transportation.

“Bicycles offer people a route out of poverty and a means to improve their lives, giving them opportunities to travel to work and school – explains ReCycle – They are surprisingly adaptable, and can be used to carry goods and passengers, giving small scale farmers and traders the opportunity to reach customers further afield, or take more produce to market. They are also invaluable for traveling health workers coping with the AIDS epidemic.”

Re-Cycle receives used bikes from citizens, business companies and organisations such as Royal Mail, Rotary clubs, schools and churches. Then the bikes are checked, and the ones that are in good conditions are packed in containers and shipped to several associations in Africa. In Africa, bikes are renovated and distributed. Bikes in bad conditions are disassembled, and the reusable pieces are sent as spare parts. Moreover, numerous partners of Re-Cycle teach local communities how to fix broken bikes.

The association operates mostly in Ghana, Namibia, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Kenya, delivering the bikes to kids who need to go to school, women who walk long distances to collect water, workers, farmers and traders.

Re-Cycle also designed a trailer that can be built with affordable materials and parts of old bikes. The African partner associations also built XtraBike, a device that increases the loading capacity of bikes. This way they can be used for water collection, transportation of goods to the markets, trade, and waste collection.

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