We're proud to say we've been working with Re-Cycle for just over a year now, with 25p from every 250g bag and £1 from every 1kg bag of all Discovery Coffee sales donated to the charity.
Last year we went to visit the Re-Cycle warehouse in Essex and see the operation for ourselves.
Visiting Lindsay and the team at Re-Cycle
Re-Cycle are a small charity who recycle bikes from the UK, working with local partners to distribute them to people living in rural communities. So far Re-Cycle have helped increase school attendance by 30% and donated over 112,000 bikes to Africa, with 98% still operational after 3 years.
42% of people aged over five in the UK own or have access to a bicycle, and in 2014 3.6 million new bikes were sold. Bikes become unused and then unwanted for a wide variety of reasons: children’s bikes get quickly outgrown; and people return to cycling and start off with a cheap bike but then progress in their new sport and upgrade to a better bike.
Making bike components burns energy (typically non-renewable fossil fuels) and produces both greenhouse gas emissions and toxins. While some bike components can be recycled, others can end up in landfills. It is always a waste, both for the environment and missed reuse opportunity, when bikes are thrown away or left to a life of disuse.
Reuse is one of the best forms of recycling, especially when that reuse has the power to change lives at the same time.
All bikes are repaired for reuse
Receiving and shipping used bikes
Since 1998, Re-Cycle bikes have been shipped to partners and destinations all over Africa. The UK Re-Cycle warehouse in Essex is the hub of all of this activity where bikes are delivered and pre-sorted for bikes that go to Africa, those that need stripping for parts, and those that are suitable for potential re-furbishing. The hanger itself is absolutely massive and during busy periods can hold up to 9,000 bikes - a really impressive operation for a team of 5!
The Re-Cycle warehouse can hold up to 9,000 bikes.
More than 30 volunteers help prepare bikes, strip them, and help with the loading and unloading of containers. On average Re-Cycle load around 500 bikes and spare parts per container.
Repairing used bikes for sale in the UK
A small percentage of the bikes that are donated to Re-Cycle are not suitable for the rough terrain in Africa. If they are still in good working order, they will be put through the Re-Cycle workshop to be repaired and serviced by qualified mechanics. The bikes are then sold on to the local community in the UK. The funds raised from the bike sales goes back into the charity, which enables to charity to send more bikes to Africa.
The Re-Cycle workshop in Essex
Chimney Fire donations to date
Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Fourth Birthday "Courtyard Coffee Festival" on Sunday, and helped raise an additional £326.50 for Re-Cycle - bringing the overall total to over £2,500! We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did - see all the highlights over on our Instagram page @chimneyfirecoffee