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Reuse Centre restores one thousand bicycles as season starts

The capital region Reuse Centre has placed about one thousand refurbished bikes on sale. Repairing damaged bicycles for reuse saves some 250 kg of resources.

Tuomas Sulander ja Hanna Haajanen Espoon Nihtisillan tavaratalossa
Two Espoo residents with new and improved bikes. Image: Jouni Immonen / Yle

With the weather warming up people around Finland are getting back in the saddle, buying and riding bicycles in an annual rush. The Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre (Kierrätyskeskus) got ecological this year and repaired 1,000 out-of-commission bikes to be ridden by new urban travellers.

Some of the bikes have been on pre-season sale online since Monday. More than half of the 200 bicycles have found new owners.

"We tested online bike sales with a small batch last year and the demand was high," says Aatos Weckman from the Reuse Centre. "So this time we put much more on sale."

Some consumers have voiced concern over there only being some dozens of bicycles for sale at specialised retailers, instead of hundreds. Amounts will vary this year, too.

The widest selection of refurbished bicycles can be found in Espoo's Nihtisilta superstore, which stocks 500 revamped bikes.

People line up outside the shop before opening time to get their foot in the door.

"When we opened at 10 am the most eager ones among the customers leaped straight in to find their favourite," store manager Pirjo Sorjonen describes.

The average reuse bike goes for about 150 euros.

Green donations

All the bicycles involved have undergone extensive maintenance at the Reuse Centre's workshop, where they came as donations from people in the municipality. Weckman says that the volume of donated bikes have risen significantly in recent years, which has also accelerated the rate of recycling.

Kierrätyskeskuksen suurmyymälä, Espoon Nihtisillan tavaratalo
The price tags on reused bikes are often consumer-friendly. Image: Jouni Immonen / Yle

"Thanks to all these new donations we can bring new bicycles on sale throughout the spring and summer seasons. The most environmentally friendly way to dispose of unused or unwanted bikes is to order a free pickup from us and get rid of all the units at once," Weckman says.

According to the Reuse Centre repairing bicycles lessens the toll on nature, as an average bicycle requires an estimated 250 gm of natural resources to be manufactured.

"We counted that we conserved more than 400,000 kg of resources over last year," Weckman reports.

The Reuse Centre sold upwards of 1,700 restored bikes in 2016. The proceeds are used entirely for local environmental work and employment opportunities.

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