Every once in a while we have have load of aluminum cans, brass, copper and iron/steel that we bring to General Iron Industries as recycling scrap. You've seen the pick up trucks with old file cabinets, exercise bikes and not-so-great bicycles (Roadmasters, Murrays, etc.). Last time we were there, someone brought in as scrap a good looking bicycle, a crew member even tested the brake handles, and spun the wheels - it was essentially brand new. But once it was weighed in, there was no going back to a life on the road. (That's their rules...). Other men standing in line with their carts of sheet metal and old plumbing, also saw that the bike was good - too far away to distinguish the maker or model. One of the crew mentioned that recently they had five new bikes brought in - still with their price tags on them.
Can something be done to figure out who is scraping perfectly good (or new) bikes? If it is a store, they could get a tax donation if donated to Working Bikes. The folks bringing in metal as scrap are only getting .05 a pound for scrap steel. Since the bicycles were not separated for their components (brass, steel, aluminum, rubber tires) they were not being priced at the best scrap/recycling level.
I know several older men that collect pallets and metals with shopping carts and they have asked me about finding a bike for them. They sell their pallets then take the bus home - a bicycle would really liberate them.
Apparently, one can buy a bicycle (or parts) from the men in the pickup trucks, as long as it has not be weighed in/sorted by the GII crew. As a special note - everyone, EVERYONE is very polite and very hard working.
Hoping to change the world - one bicycke at a time.
Nancy L. Fagin
Yes - my husband and I have volunteered at Working Bikes (twice) with the Peace Corps alumni, disassembling donated bikes for overseas shipment. I will write to GII and see if they can at first pull out the servicable bikes.
Nancy and Ron (Brazil, 1964 - 1967)