How to recycle a bike for Christmas

What goes round, goes around

If the festive season puts you in a generous frame of mind why not help expand the two-wheeled world by giving a bike?

You can make a donation to a charity which provides bicycles in the developing world, or the inner cities. The cost of a new pair of shorts could help families get mobile and independent or give children an outlet for their energy.

For an alternative way of giving something back, why not hand over that unloved hack bike or cheap and cheerful hybrid you bought years ago.

There are scores of projects in cities across America, Europe and Australia who will happily take your rust bucket off your hands and pass it on to someone who really needs it.

Here's just a handful of the schemes you can donate a bike to:

In Waltham Forest, London, the local council will take any unwanted bike off your hands and revamp it before selling it on to families in the community, for as little as £45. Children's bikes are sold on for even less. People can also take advantage of community bike workshops for a small donation if they need to fix up their own cycle.

New York community scheme Recycle-A-Bicycle accepts walk-in donations at its two stores in Brooklyn and Manhattan, and with pick up collections of 10 or more bikes, if your club is having a clear-out. The group runs cycle training in NYC schools and also offers advice on starting youth bike clubs. It's also grateful for tools, parts, and of course, hard cash.

In the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, The Bike Station has taken in 8,000 unwanted bikes since 2002. It recycles about two-thirds of the bikes it receives, using the rest for parts and spares and also offers road safety training, and advice on setting up new recycling projects.

In Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, the Coalition for Appropriate Transit revamps donated bikes which then go back into the community. Many of them are paid for in kind, with the new owners giving their time for the upkeep of local bus stops.

Bikes for the World, based in Washington DC, collects repairable cycles in Washington, Maryland and Virginia, and transports them overseas to developing countries. It suggests that donors also give $10 per bike, to offset the cost of global shipping. The group has an ongoing collection schedule, but donations can also be made at various partner bike shops.

Australia has a handy country-wide database which points willing donors to the nearest place they can give a bike for recycling.

If none of these schemes are in your area a worthy cause is probably just a googleaway.

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