The Recyclery: Providing Reliable Bicycle Transportation to Those in Need

The Recyclery: Providing Reliable Bicycle Transportation to Those in Need
Photo Courtesy of Flickr/ Debarshi Ray:

With summer quickly approaching, many anticipate the vast array of warm weather activities Chicago has to offer. Most city-dwellers want to get out and enjoy the sunshine during the short summer months. As a widespread, active city, Chicago has many separate opportunities for exercise, service and community, but The Recyclery weaves those opportunities into one.

The Recyclery at 7628 N. Paulina Ave. is a nonprofit used-bicycle collective in Rogers Park. The organization aims to foster a community atmosphere through the reparation of donated and discarded bicycles. The Recyclery, with help from reliable resources and volunteers, supports an independent and sustainable mode of transportation that is also affordable. The nonprofit’s mission involves considering transportation’s accessibility and transmission and its impact on the health of the large-scale environment as well as the smaller-scale community.

Something as seemingly simple as a bicycle can truly impact someone’s life. As a reliable method of transportation, anyone with a bike has access to numerous parts of the city, along the lakefront or throughout the inner city. Chicago even provides a bike map.

With different programs, the nonprofit aids to the wants and needs of the general public, and also provides a public service to the area’s low-income residents, refugees and the homeless.

The Recyclery has weekly programs that can be found on their website’s calendar.


1. Open-Shop

For The Recyclery’s Open-Shop program, participants can bring their bikes into the shop and borrow The Recyclery’s tools as the mechanics teach them bike essentials and help them fix their bikes. There is no fee for this service, but The Recyclery suggests a $10.


2. Saturday Bike Sales

Every Saturday 10am-12pm, The Recyclery hosts a bike sale that helps fund the organization. They sell repaired bikes of various styles and prices, along with bike accessories like helmets, locks and lights.


3.Youth Classes

The Recyclery partners with Howard Area Community Center and other local organizations to teach kids bike maintenance, riding safety, environmental awareness and work ethics in a fun way. They also have group rides that show the kids safe commuting skills.


4. Overhaul and Tune-Up Classes

Overhaul and Tune-Up classes are geared towards adults, and they range from two days to six weeks. The two day class teaches students basic skills and bike maintenance, while the six week class dives into every component of the bicycle with hands on experience.


5. FreeCyclery and Volunteer Hours

With this program, The Recyclery partners with area social service organizations to donate bicycles to those in need. They donate bikes, locks and helmets to provide recipients with self-sufficiency and safe, practical transportation.


Beyond participating in one of The Recyclery’s programs, those willing to help can host a bike drivevolunteer or donate. Any Recyclery donations sustain their interactive, educational programs and provide bikes for those in need.


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