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At the dump

Old 03-29-18, 01:05 PM
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At the dump

The rescue stories I've read around here are great but not every bike makes it to a deserving home. Unfortunately, these bicycles I saw today are in the scrap metal area of the county dump and NOTHING can be scavenged or removed from the area but they will let you wander around and look and they don't mind if you feel terrible. In fact, they seem to enjoy it. Nothing really fantastic in the way of classic or desirable bikes but a real shame nonetheless. There was also a wheelchair and a few juvie bikes buried nearly out of sight. Post your finds if you can stand to do so.

Giant Boulder SE
Giant Boulder.JPG

Raleigh cruiser
Raleigh cruiser.JPG

Trek MTB
Trek.JPG

Assorted
mixed.JPG
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Old 03-29-18, 01:13 PM
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Rather shortsighted of places to not have a policy to permit people to purchase items. Perhaps they don't trust their employees.
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Old 03-29-18, 01:33 PM
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Shame. BMX looks salvageable and probably had minor issues
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Old 03-29-18, 01:43 PM
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The problem is bikes are so cheap now that most won't pay for new tires and tubes or do the work themselves. It's easier to toss and go to Wally World and pick up a brand spanking new MTB or BMX for $50-100. There are and will be tons of these in the dump.

I saw what most would think a nice MTB for $69 or $79 on special around the holidays. There is just no money or value to them once the consumables go or they start having shifting issues. Kinda sad when you think about.
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Old 03-29-18, 01:50 PM
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Today at the recycling center, I saw a cheap MTB leaning against one of the bins. It did not appear to be damaged, and the tires were inflated. Maybe someone who needs it more than I do will give it a home.
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Old 03-29-18, 01:58 PM
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Is this a government dump/transfer site? Is the scrap metal already sold?

Perhaps you could write to your county commissioner that part of "recycling" is also "reusing".

See if you can get permission to repurpose old bikes, or even trade... 10 lbs worth of recyclables for a bike.
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Old 03-29-18, 02:01 PM
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-----

could be a legal matter such as liability

or if facility on public land but operated by a private entity could have to do with the terms and conditions of their use permit...

-----
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Old 03-29-18, 03:01 PM
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One of the local steel recyclers used to have a pick-through yard. I presume they'd sell used steel for 3x or 4x scrap value, but they've chosen to close the pick through area. Not sure of the reasons for closing the area. Perhaps too expensive to maintain, but I think it is a big loss.
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Old 03-29-18, 03:26 PM
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In Merida, there are two very large lots next to each other; one for confiscated automobiles and the other for confiscated bikes. Once they go in (the bikes anyway) they don't come out that I'm aware of. There are tens of thousands of them in there.
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Old 03-29-18, 03:29 PM
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Around my neighborhood people just chuck bikes out on the curb they don't want anymore. All of them are repairable. Most of the time it's something like a flat tire or broken shifter or brake cable. They're always Wally World crap. I guess it's just a part of livin in the USA. Everything is cheap and disposable here. Nothing lasts. Nobody cares.
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Old 03-29-18, 03:32 PM
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I suspect this is what happens to bikes when the owners post unrealistic prices on craigslist or at yard sales. They don't get the $300 they wanted for a "minty" "vintage" "classic" bike. So they hang onto it until the very last possible moment and it's moving day or the spousal unit issues an ultimatum about spring cleaning.

It's hard to get $100 for a Trek or other decent brand mountain bike that might have scuffed paint or need tires or a chain, when new looking BSOs are available at the big box store or pawn shop for $50-$75.
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Old 03-29-18, 04:45 PM
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Japanese Engineers figured out how to use robotics to build bicycles by the early 1990's. Now they can roll 1000's of these BSO's off an assembly line every day. These new bikes have absolutely no soul at all. Welcome to the future. Pretty soon the question will be: do the machines work for us or, do we work for the machines?
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Old 03-29-18, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
-----

could be a legal matter such as liability

or if facility on public land but operated by a private entity could have to do with the terms and conditions of their use permit...

-----
In my area it's an insurance liability issue that prevents reclaiming items from these sites. It's far too easy to get injured rummaging through these sites. Given the rusty items, even a simple cut could lead to serious problems if your tetanus vaccines are not up to date.
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Old 03-29-18, 05:42 PM
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It irks me that my town has a place they call “the recycle center”, it’s really the scrap center. They don’t let you buy an item that has a higher use like a bicycle. Instead they turn them into scrap for about $1 per bike.

Sometimes our co-op gets overloaded with bottom end bikes. At that point, many are donated to the other co-op in town (yes we have two). I donated one BSO and later that day, I needed an RD to fix a bike for a customer. So I took the one off the BSO and the repaired bike was ready to live again. So even if just a part or two gets reused, its a benefit.

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Old 03-29-18, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by juvela View Post
could be a legal matter such as liability
^This is the reason I believe.

Definitely sad about the waste, but you could say that about so many things these days. CRT TVs come to mind as well..
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Old 03-29-18, 08:48 PM
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In Seattle, all bikes and equipment that have been left in the trash are separated out and delivered to Bike Works, which builds them up either for sale or for use by needy folks. We save thousands of bikes a year, I suspect.
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Old 03-29-18, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
It irks me that my town has a place they call “the recycle center”, it’s really the scrap center. They don’t let you buy an item that has a higher use like a bicycle. Instead they turn them into scrap for about $1 per bike.
It's the nature of the business. They buy scrap metal by the pound and sell it by the pound and they're not set up to sell a couple pounds here and there. In order to do what we would like (and I would like it, too) they would have to "manage" it. Every large corporation (or government entity) is a bureaucracy and every change to the business/service model requires that the bureaucracy analyze it and approve it. Then, a sub-bureaucracy has to be created to manage the change. They "need" a manager of scrap bicycle reassignment and every manager of such a high level activity needs about five assistant managers to manage the one minimum wage guy who actually sells the bicycle to someone who can use it either for parts or rehabilitation. By the time they're done, it would cost them, probably, $10.00 for every $1.00 they would take in. To break even, they would probably have to resell a crap Walmart bicycle for more than Walmart sold it for in the first place.

In actuality, I've seen scrapyards that do this sort of thing with steel. You go over there and tell them that you want a 4" by 4" steel tube with .125 (or close) wall thickness (for a fence repair). They give you a piece of paper and you go out to the yard and talk to the guy with the cutoff saw who will cut it to length and load it on your truck. They're set up to do it and know what to charge in order to make money. But, they are dealing with a commodity and they can calculate the value added by their custom scrap sales and they are staffed for it. They don't, for example, allow you to go out to where the washing machines are and try to salvage a motor for a specific model.

Auto scrap yards are a different deal, too.
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Old 03-29-18, 10:01 PM
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I called a local metal recycler to see if they had any bikes they would sell. Same thing as some posters above. Anything that comes through the doors will not leave - it is a liability for the company and they have a policy in place that prevents this.

I haven't called them all, but I'd imagine many are the same. It's a cool and romantic notion to save bikes from the scrap heap, but unless you are tied to a non-profit that has a very specific infrastructure for making it super easy for the company and getting past the liability stage, then its not really feasible for the end user.

I suppose the next best thing is to try to get to those bikes before they end up at the scrap yard
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Old 03-29-18, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
In my area it's an insurance liability issue that prevents reclaiming items from these sites. It's far too easy to get injured rummaging through these sites. Given the rusty items, even a simple cut could lead to serious problems if your tetanus vaccines are not up to date.
Same here. There's a dump in the San Fransisco area that used to let people rummage for a fee. Some truly amazing things came out of that dump including stashed bags of money found in old dresser draws. Closed now due to liability issues.
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Old 03-29-18, 11:21 PM
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Hello,

Like Seattle, in Salem, OR we have a solution. Our regional recycling center, called the “Transfer Station”, has a separate bin where scrapped or discarded bikes and parts a placed. Once a week our local co-op, The Northwest Hub, collects these. We reuse, recycle and repair or refurbish what is economically feasible and then sort the remaining materials for returning to the recycling stream. As stated earlier, most of this is junk or poor quality, but we do get a remarkable amount of useable stuff.

I understand that the Transfer Station also burns non-toxic combustibles to generate electricity.

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Old 03-30-18, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Bikerider007 View Post
The problem is bikes are so cheap now that most won't pay for new tires and tubes or do the work themselves. It's easier to toss and go to Wally World and pick up a brand spanking new MTB or BMX for $50-100. There are and will be tons of these in the dump.

I saw what most would think a nice MTB for $69 or $79 on special around the holidays. There is just no money or value to them once the consumables go or they start having shifting issues. Kinda sad when you think about.
This about sums it up.

The bicycle nonprofit that I volunteer at has so many junky/cheap bikes donated on a regular basis that we've run out of storage space. Once a used box store bike has compromised paint and/or corrosion issues, the cost to refurbish and make functional exceeds the value. This is especially true of bikes with suspension, as a day or two of being rained on quickly turns these boat anchors into non-functioning boat anchors.

Our local scrap yard pays out .4 cents a pound for bicycle scrap, rubber and all. We try to salvage what we can in usable parts (usually not much) and then haul a load to the scrapper which nets about $20.

As much as I disagree with Trump, I hope his new policy directed toward unbalanced trade and Chinese steel dumping in particular, brings about some change to this situation.



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Old 03-30-18, 11:06 AM
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As a kid, I remember going to the dump, and there were always a few bikes discarded... it isn't a new thing. But, at that time, they were mixed in with the refuse. Generally Murrays and similar bikes. But, often in good condition.

One thing that gets me. The local thrift stores (St. Vincents, Goodwill, etc) all have big garbage bins.

If they can't sell it... it goes into the trash.

Unfortunately, there is a grey area where stuff isn't worth $20, but it would get snagged for free (which might compete with their other business).

Most bikes they sell have 2 wheels, etc... But, for many of the bike enthusiasts... well, at least for me... I look at a bike as more of a collection of usable parts. So, if it has a good frame or good parts, I could care less if it was complete... that is if the price is right.

In fact, some of the bikes you're seeing at the dump may be there because they've been refused by the thrift stores.
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Old 03-30-18, 12:27 PM
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Our dump has a bicycle recycle section (usually only scrap worthy bikes are left as people are quick to get anything decent); unfortunately its optional so I still see (better) bikes in the metal bin - and no we can't take anything out of the bin once its in.....
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Old 03-30-18, 04:07 PM
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Same here once it comes through the gate it is not allowed to leave. It really makes no sense at our place, there are not piles everywhere where someone can get hurt.I see a lot of other things there from time to time that could use a good home rather then scrap it.

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Old 04-02-18, 05:21 PM
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The sad part about our place is that across the yard there's a "re-use" area where people dump furniture and tools for others to take. Never seen bikes there, so perhaps the place requires bikes to be recycled as scrap and not offered for reuse. Shame.
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