How Revolve continues to evolve
Revolve ReCYCLING has been diverting old bikes from landfill and giving them new life since 2021. The social enterprise has been successfully stimulating a market for redeployed bikes, providing people with high-quality, safe and affordable bicycles, creating jobs for people with disadvantaged backgrounds and encouraging biking and active transport. It's sustainability on two wheels!
Originally the aim was to recycle and redeploy Australia’s bikes, e-bikes, scooters and other Personal Transport Vehicles (PTVs). Adult bikes are sold at affordable prices online and in the Revolve store. But so much more is now being accomplished.
A brilliant initiative is regular deliveries of free children’s bikes to disadvantaged kids. “Every kid deserves the joy of a bike. We keep old bikes from going to landfill and give them a new life, including kids who may be disadvantaged,” said Peter Shmigel, founder of Revolve ReCYCLING. “In 12 months since we’ve started, that’s included: Indigenous kids in Sydney’s inner city, the Hunter and the Illawarra, Ukrainian and other refugee kids, and kids in disadvantaged country areas.”
Revolve ReCYCLING delivered these free kids bikes at Barack Heights Public School.
(Photo: Revolve ReCYCLING)
Rebuilding bikes and lives
Revolve ReCYCLING delivered 15 repaired children’s bikes to Tribal Warrior, a youth mentoring initiative in Redfern, as part of a monthly donation to them. Revolve is also working with Tribal Warrior to teach children how to maintain their bikes and how to paint them creatively.
Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation mentors young people in the Sydney metro area. Revolve ReCYCLING is happy to support them with free bikes for Indigenous kids who need them.
(Photo: Revolve ReCYCLING)
In addition, children’s bikes were delivered to two schools near Lakes Entrance in Victoria, an area impacted by bushfires.
Even the teachers and maintenance staff at Barack Heights Public School, where Revolve ReCYCLING has delivered free kids bikes, got some joy! Revolve also ran workshops for students on bike maintenance and safety. (Photo: Revolve ReCYCLING)
“Bikes give kids fun, fitness, and learnings like responsibility and rights. We want every Australian kid – regardless of background – to have access to one,” Shmigel said. “Every bike is an opportunity for circularity too.”
Pictured at Lake George, 50 donated kids bikes on their way to schools in bushfire affected parts of Victoria. (Photo: Revolve ReCYCLING).
There are about 500,000 unused or unwanted bikes in Sydney and about 3.5 million Australia-wide. More than 1.5 million bikes are sold each year with the fastest growing segment being e-bikes (battery powered). Revolve ReCYCLING has collected, recycled or redeployed about 4000 Personal Transport Vehicles in its first year of operations, prevented 57 120 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions, and saved over 43 tonnes of material from landfill while employing people of disadvantaged backgrounds.
Since then, Revolve's evolution has ramped up with;
- 97,216kgs of metal diverted from landfill
- 6944 bicycles recycled
- 1951 bicycles redeployed
- 187,296kgs of CO2 avoided by reusing bikes and parts
(Source: https://revolverecycling.net/ 19.12.23)
- 600 kids bikes to communities, schools and families who can't afford bikes for their children
- Diverted 400 bicycles from landfill in 2023 in partnership with Northern Beaches Council
- Delivered 30 bikes to the Dandenong Primary School
30 bikes delivered to the Dandenong Primary School. (Photo: Revolve ReCYCLING).
The bikes will be used to set up a bike library so that kids who have no access to a bike can also enjoy riding a bike.
In November 2023, Guido Verbalist, Revolve General Manger, and Sienna Young travelled 11,000 kms to deliver 106 recycled bikes to kids in seven remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.
‘Local partners will use the bikes to spread joy, encourage engagement such as school attendance, and teach skills. Locally-led plans include: holding bike maintenance workshops at schools, conducting cultural trips, building BMX tracks and organising races, and providing training for future bike repair mechanics.’
‘Every kid in Australia deserves the joy of a bike, and can learn a lot from a bike too,’ Guido said. ‘In the week after the referendum, it was great to be positive and practical, and get these redeployed bikes to the kids in the Northern Territory.’
‘It’s very cool to collect kids’ bikes and scooters where they are no longer needed or wanted and get them to outback kids who definitely want them,” Sienna said.
Today Revolve are continuing to disrupt the market with innovative ideas and awards
GM Guido Verbist and colleague Sienna Young accepted the Cycling Luminaries Special Recognition Award for Social Impact at the Gala Awards Dinner in Parliament House. (Photo: Revolve ReCYCLING).
- We Ride Australia announced Revolve ReCYCLING as the Winner of the Cycling Luminaries Special Recognition Award for Social Impact. You can view Guido's acceptance speech here
- Revolve ReCYCLING launched its own range of redeployed E-bikes which will come with a 12-month warranty.
6 people who gave new life to 6 bikes. Ian, Ben, Briitta, Sienna, Nicole and Glenn finished the 'Build Your Own Bike' course with honors. (Photo: Revolve ReCYCLING).
- Build Your Own Bike Course
Over 3 consecutive Saturdays, students not only built the bike of their own choice by using recycled bikes, frames, and parts but they will also be able to service their own bike. This course gives Revolve the opportunity to share their knowledge and ideas about recycling and redeploying bikes.
- ‘In 10 years, it’s likely that 75% of bikes will be battery powered and it’s time to get serious policies in place to ensure there’s someplace safe for them to go at the end of life - otherwise they go boom and burn,’ according to Revolve and, the organisation is super keen to help as they are seeing more e-bikes come back from the community.
- Revolve ReCYCLING received a City of Sydney grant and is working hard to ensure the funding expands the ways bikes are collected. This includes developing partnerships with a chain of bike stores so people can drop off unwanted bikes at more locations.
How you can get involved
It looks like the evolution is not going to slow down anytime soon so get involved and support Revolve ReCYCLING by donating old bikes or buying redeployed affordable branded rides.
Help deliver a bike to a child in need
You can also donate to help deliver a bike to a child in need – a refugee, a First Nations child, a child with a disability or from a disadvantaged background.
In the future “ride economy”, Revolve believes that, ‘there will be many different environmental, social and commercial opportunities for many different people, organisations and businesses. There will be new types of organisations, businesses, supply chains, and jobs as the way we get around, and the way we manage rides after their “first life” changes for the better.’ So, if you are passionate about bikes, other rides, personal transport and sustainability, Revolve ReCYCLING would love to hear from you about what you can potentially do together.
Unwanted or unused bicycles
Looking to buy a bike
Next time you are looking to buy a bike, check out the Revolve ReCYCLING shop and consider choosing one that is both kind to people and our environment. Home delivery is possible for a small fee and all bikes come with a free service and warranties.
For more places to donate your bikes, both in Sydney and regional towns, check out the Bicycle NSW directory of fantastic bike recycling organisations.