September 1st, 2022
Australians are buying around 2 million Personal Transport Vehicles (PTVs) every year.
Revolve ReCYCLING is giving a new life to old rides by recovering, recycling and redeploying Australian bikes, e-bikes, scooters and other PTVs.
Since 2021, Revolve ReCYCLING has redeployed about 3,000 bicycles, saving 40 tonnes of materials from landfill and 40,000 kg of greenhouse gas emissions.
We are seeing a growing number of people choosing more sustainable transport options such as riding bikes, e-bikes, scooters and other Personal Transport Vehicles (PTVs). These modes of transportation are not only better for the environment as they reduce our carbon footprint, but are also good for the pocket. However, as the uptake of such sustainable mobility options increases, so does their individual environmental impact after they reach their ‘end-of-life' and are sent to landfill.
Revolve ReCYCLING is one such platform that has developed a circular economy solution to this problem by recovering, recycling and redeploying Australian bikes, E-bikes, scooters and other PTVs, giving a new life to old rides.
We sat down with Guido Verbist, General Manager of Revolve ReCYCLING to discuss their journey so far and plans for a sustainable mobility future.
"Revolve ReCYCLING recovers the different types of PTVs from households, worksites, councils and other locations using Australia’s first dedicated bicycle recycling vehicle. Our certified mechanics repair and redeploy the good quality bikes which we then sell at affordable prices. Some bikes are donated to kids in need and all other material is diverted from landfill to recycling."
"Our vision- recycle, reuse or redeploy 100% of the PTVs that we collect from riders. We want to be Australia’s primary platform providing cool, safe, high quality, branded and affordable redeployed bikes for riders. While it is great to see that the number of PTVs being used is positively growing, our society also needs to minimise the downsides, like the potential for more waste in landfill from old rides at the end of their first life.”
“PTVs are made from materials such as steel, aluminium, titanium, carbon and rubber which are too often wasted by being sent to landfill when their first life cycle is complete. However, these materials still hold high value and can be reused. Additionally, an important trend to consider is the growing use of batteries to power PTVs. While battery power is making PTVs more accessible to riders, they also have their own really specific environmental challenges.”
“By reusing, recycling and redeploying PTVs for another life, we help riders avoid waste going to landfill, conserve natural resources and minimise greenhouse emissions. A PTV’s positive environmental impact grows as its usage continues to grow in popularity.”
Bikes and other PTVs are extraordinarily environmentally efficient machines. Every push of a pedal is pollution avoided. Australians are buying and using two million plus PTVs every year, and that is growing as part of the mobility revolution. The fact that so many people are increasingly choosing such sustainable modes of transportation is a positive change for the good. However, like every built machine, bikes and PTVs have their own environmental footprint when looked at across their entire lifecycle from raw materials to end-of-life. We want to make sure that there is a ‘sustainability solution’ for those PTVs at the end of their first life.
"We have gone through various steps to establish ourselves as a circular start-up:
Conducted research on bicycle production, importation, distribution, usage, storage and end-of-life management.
Conducted market research on consumers’ attitudes toward end-of-life PTVs, including behavioural drivers.
Estimated numbers of underused PTVs currently in Sydney’s households.
Evaluated the environmental impact of end-of-life PTVs.
Determined logistical, financial and environmental management models for the recovery of end-of-life PTVs.
Identified supply chain partners including our main operational partner, BINGO Industries.
Established our social sustainability objectives, including employment opportunities for disadvantaged people, “bike equity”, rider empowerment and community development.
Designed operational systems for recovery, redeployment and recycling of up to 200 PTVs per week.
Conducted logistical trials.”
“Through this process, we also encountered various challenges for which we had to develop practical and workable responses as listed below:
"Since starting up in 2021, Revolve ReCYCLING has:
Diverted around 40 tonnes of materials from landfill including metals (steel and aluminium), rubber and plastic
Recycled or redeployed about 3,000 bicycles
Saved around 40,000 kg of greenhouse gases
Created employment opportunities for people from disadvantaged backgrounds
Distributed free bicycles to disadvantaged and refugee kids
Commenced a 'bike art' program at our premises using old parts and finding alternative uses for recovered materials
Conducted educational workshops for councils, schools and community members around repair and reuse
Partnered with other industry sectors to sell old bike parts to extend their life cycle
“Revolve ReCYCLING wants to be a significant contributor to the ‘zero PTV waste to landfill’ in Australia by helping riders throughout the country with recovery, recycling and redeployment of PTVs. We will continue working with various stakeholders for greater product stewardship schemes for PTVS and to raise more awareness amongst riders about the need to keep their rides out of landfill. We are also working towards developing an integrated network of bike shops with active waste minimisation efforts and a drop-off system for old rides.”
"Save old bikes from landfill. Support good jobs. Buy a redeployed, high-quality, branded, safe and affordable bike. Donate old bikes by booking an online collection or dropping them off at our wheelshop. Visit our website for more details at https://revolverecycling.net/"