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Knowsley bike project cuts cost of getting to work (16 March 2016)

A Knowsley bicycle reuse project has helped cut the cost of getting to work for hundreds more Merseysiders by training local people to restore unwanted bikes.

The ReCycle project is run by MerseyCycle and trains volunteers, at its National Wildflower Centre base, to repair and refurbish unwanted bikes which are then sold at bargain prices to members of the public.

The scheme, which was set up last autumn, is funded by an £8,000 grant from Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority and Veolia’s Community Fund and, just like a similar Liverpool project also supported by this year’s Community Fund, has sold around 200 bikes – mostly to Merseysiders wanting a cheap way of getting to work.

Barry Redman, of MerseyCycle, said: “We have monthly bike sales and have been getting more and more people coming along.

“We’ve sold some bikes to kids but a lot have been to people wanting a way of getting to work. Commuters are probably our biggest market.”

The Knowsley scheme has trained a cohort of volunteers – young people, unemployed and retired residents – to repair unwanted bikes and the volunteers now gather each week to work on the latest batch of collected or donated machines.

Councillor Graham Morgan, chairperson of Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority, said: “MerseyCycle isn’t just helping reduce the number of unwanted bikes ending in landfill. It is giving local people new skills and, like the Onya Bike project in Kensington, playing a real part in helping residents get to work.

“The cost of getting to work can have a huge impact on people with low wages but thanks to the Community Fund and the hard work of these two projects up to 400 Merseysiders can now commute for nothing. It’s a fantastic bi-product of a fund which was mainly set up to encourage recycling and reuse.”


Picture caption

Recycle 1: L2R at the National Wildflower Centre: Kevin McCann from MerseyCycle; Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority chairperson Councillor Graham Morgan, Lou Henderson from Pedal Away and ReCycle volunteer Peter Chan.

Recycle 2: L2R at the National Wildlfower Centre: Kevin McCann and Barry Redman from MerseyCycle with Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority chairperson Councillor Graham Morgan.

Note to editors
1. The MRWA Community Fund supports community and voluntary sector groups, not for profit social enterprises and schools in Merseyside and Halton.
2. MRWA operates (via a contract with Veolia) 14 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) for householders in the Merseyside area wishing to recycle and dispose of their own waste.
3. Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority is responsible for the disposal of municipal waste on Merseyside. Established in 1986 following the abolition of Merseyside County Council, it is a statutory Authority that works with all the local authorities on Merseyside – Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral. MRWA takes a lead in advocating recycling, waste minimisation and safe and effective disposal of waste for Merseyside residents.

Media enquiries to Jon Flinn on 0151 709 0505