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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-27-05, 06:37 PM   #1
raygunner
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chicago: JUNK TRUCK BIKES ~ Where Do They Go?!

I live right by Finkl & Son steel mill and I'm always seeing the junk trucks haul loads upon load of metal to the scrap yard.

In those loads I almost always see a bike or two sticking out (one time I saw one filled w/ just bikes) and I was wondering do they all get melted down?

Does any go to Working Bikes?

It's a shame that so many bikes are just thrown out.

It's even a bigger shame that I haven't found one in an alley in awhile.

- Eric
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Old 06-27-05, 08:06 PM   #2
icithecat
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Last summer, I was driving by a community centre and saw a semi sized dumpster with bicycles poking out of the top. I pulled over to check it out. It was a feel good metal recycling effort. Signs clearly indicated that material in the dumpster was now property of the recycling company. Fines for stealing etc. posted. A commisionaire was perched within view on a chair.
I like recycling, but I do not want to do the time.
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Old 06-27-05, 08:36 PM   #3
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if its in a junky pickup truck headed towards a recycling center. i would take a guess that is going to be melted down.

there are a couple of metal recycling places by my house. they tend to get people with grocery carts of scrap and there is at least one pickup truck that collects scrap metal that is parked around the corner almost every evening.

mostly these people are either homeless or close to being homeless. they (at least the shopping cart guys) get their stuff from alleys and people's trash. they tend to hit the 15 or so residential dumpsters (the smaller ones) in my alley at least every hour or two once it gets warmer.

by my place i have also heard stories -- probably urban myths, but maybe not -- that if they get too much stuff with other materials on it, like wire, they will make a pile and set it on fire to burn everything off.

i also remember reading an article in the reader (i think, maybe the tribune or sun times) about how man whole covers were being stolen and taken to recycling centers because the scrap metal prices are up from demand in china and other asian countries that need it to make steel.
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Old 06-27-05, 08:59 PM   #4
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Yeah, I've never seen a missing manhole cover yet.

If the junkies got so much for them you'd see 'em missing more often.

It's the hispanic junkers w/ the Bevery Hilbilly type trucks filled w/ junk. Those things are an accident waiting to happen but Finkl must keep his pawns close. Is that Matlack's ward?! (My third least fave ald next to Manny "The Man" Flores, Dorthy "The Hat" Tillman).

Anyways...do any go to Working Bikes????
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Old 06-27-05, 09:57 PM   #5
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Raygunner. Stick with your day job of teaching kids. Maybe in the future, when you are established, you can start a movement.
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Old 06-27-05, 10:04 PM   #6
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go next door and ask, give a list of good brands that are worth a few bucks and say you'll pay 2x the scrap value which for a 20lb bike isn't that much,

if they are Xmart bikes though that is where they belong

if you see a colnago or derorsa or even a few nice fuji and panasonics in a "community" recycling drive bribe the person keeping an eye on it because they will be melting them down (unless someone fuarther down the line catches it) make a fuss at the mayors office take pictures and educate people about more usefull ways to recycle things like bikes.
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Old 06-27-05, 10:37 PM   #7
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yup if you look just east of finkel steel there's a recycling place. There's a sign that lists how much you get per lb of scrap. I wouldn't bother trying to buy a bike off of one of those dumpsters they're already picked through and usually all bent up since they're going to scrap.

You want the real cheap finds? Apartments with bike rooms filled with rides that people bought, but never rode. Usually once a year complexes unscrew the piping and throw all those bikes away unless they look shiny. I picked up 26 bikes once that way and shipped all but 2 to working bikes. That's how I learned how to break a u-lock.

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Old 06-28-05, 05:34 AM   #8
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It may very well be that some of those bikes are coming from Working Bikes, it depends on the quality and condition of the bike.

I don't know WB's policy, but it's got to be a lot like ours at Bikes Not Bombs. Not every piece of garbage can or should be sold or shipped. If a bike's a complete waste of time, we'll strip the useful bits like brakes, cranks (even one-piece), wheels (even steel as long as they're pretty true). The pull off any alloy bits which go into the aluminum recycling and toss the rest into the pile for steel recycling.
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