New volunteer activity: bike recycling support

We have a big goal this year to transition our donation process. By April, we will accept donations entirely through the back of our space and no longer accept any donation—whether it be 1 bike or 40 bikes—through the front of our shop.

There are several reasons this is a priority. The first two are function and aesthetics. How many times have you visited the shop and found our hallway—the main access point between the entrance and the shop itself—completely flooded with donated bikes. It’s a pain point, and a bottleneck, and it often makes navigating the shop extremely challenging. It also doesn’t look great. And if you’re trying to buy a refurbished bike, things get tricky. The truth is that our team simply can’t keep up with volume of donations on any given day; hence the stacks on stacks of bikes in the front hallway. It’s a really beautiful problem to have.

In our new future, donations are accepted in the back, via our back alley. We leverage our volunteer program and a summer internship program I have in the works; and people dedicated to processing donations control donation flow in the back of the shop, ultimately helping our team determine where each bike will end up.

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As you know, every donated bike at BBP has its own life cycle. In a lot of situations, we refurbish those bikes and sell them to fulfill our mission to offer quality, affordable bicycles to as many people as we can. Sometimes there are bikes that we don’t refurbish but rather sell as project bikes. These are the lowest cost bikes that people can buy to refurbish in our DIY shop. In other cases, we’ll pull parts and frames to sell in our used parts room. Last but not least, if a bike isn’t in good enough shape for any of the previously mentioned options, we will recycle it; and the income from recycled bikes comes back into the shop to fund our programming.

In order to meet our goal of accepting donations in the back, we are going to need to work hard to keep our back area as clear as possible at all times. This means we need help (lots of help) sending our bikes to recycling. This is where you come in! Casey and I would like to implement a volunteer activity in which the same volunteers are responsible for hauling bikes to our recycling partners on the same day each week. You can help if…

-You have a truck and a trailer, and

-You can commit to a consistent schedule of one day a week (we understand that things like vacations will come up).

Right now, I’m hoping to line up volunteers for the following days: Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. A recycling round trip should take between 1 to 2 hours depending on the volume of bikes we have each day.

Every single volunteer shift at BBP is so important to what we do; and this opportunity is no exception. Your commitment to this specific activity will keep our shop clean and clear and will maximize our ability to take and use as many donations as possible.

Interested? Reach out to us! emily@boisebicycleproject.org

James Hallyburton

Boise Bicycle Project, 1027 South Lusk Street, Boise, ID, 83706