Recycle scheme a wheel success

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

A bicycle recycle scheme, organized by sustainable transport charity, Sustrans, has provided a group of seven to 11 year olds at Edenbrooke Primary School, in Belfast, with recycled bikes.

On Monday 10th May, 2010, Councillor Pat McCarthy will be attending Edenbrooke Primary School, in Belfast, Ulster, to congratulate the group of 19 children on receiving their recycled, renovated bikes, and heavy duty bike locks.

Sustrans has worked with the school since October 2009 and appointed Jill Mcdonald as the school’s Bike It officer; a dedicated member of staff to help children overcome the barriers that are preventing them from cycling to school. Jill ran a number of cycle events before initiating the pilot recycle scheme after noting that a number of children in the school didn’t own their own bicycle.

Various Belfast City Council recycling centres donated discarded bikes to the scheme, whilst staff from the Bike Dock shop helped to repair the bikes to their former glory. The project, funded by Belfast City Council and Bike Hub, will also provide cycle training for each child to increase their confidence and cycling ability and heavy duty locks, to ensure the bikes can be kept secure.

Jill McDonald comments, “I’m delighted with the success of this pilot project. The children that have received these bikes are over the moon. We’ve received great support from Belfast City Council, Bike Hub and the Bike Dock shop, without their help the scheme wouldn’t have been so successful.

“The new bikes mean that children who wouldn’t have been able to cycle now have the opportunity to travel to school, and on other journeys, in a way which benefits their health and the environment.”

Cllr Pat McCarthy, chairman of the council’s Health and Environmental Services Committee, adds, “We’re delighted to have been involved in this project as it is a great example of our ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ message at work, but more importantly, through our partnership with Sustrans, we have been able to make a real difference in the community. It’s great to see so many of the pupils taking off on their new set of wheels as it will also be a great benefit to their health and environment.”

Sustrans works with 10 Bike It schools in Belfast , in partnership with Bike Hub as the main funder, and support from Bike Dock Bike Shop on Ravenhill Road.

It would be good, in my opinion, to see this scheme to go nationwide, and even Europe-wide, to give bicycles to children that will benefit from them.

The idea behind this seems great and we must see that we can expand it farther.

© 2010