By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Tue, 28/06/2011 - 15:12

On the 17th June we loaded up and shipped off our sixth container load of 2011. A few hiccups later and it's finally made it onto the boat this week.

However, this shipment was a little unusual. Destined for Cape Town, we've loaded it with primarily road bikes (336 in total) plus 5 bicycle rickshaws as well as 44 bags of the usual selection of spares parts.

Rickshaws take up lot of room in the container, and we did have to sacrifice 60 or so "regular" bicycles, but in cities like Cape Town they are invaluable. They've got all sorts of uses from taxis to transportation, and we're sure they'll find a great new home in Africa.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Mon, 20/06/2011 - 13:43

We're home safe and sound! Thanks to everyone that visited and hopefully see you all next time.

This year, for the first time, Re~Cycle had a stall at Glastonbury Festival, in the Green Futures Field along with many other eco/environment/campaigning groups including TSFR Cymru, the Welsh group of Tools for Self Reliance whose work we greatly admire.

We did a wide range of activities but the pedal powered mobile phone charging service was the biggest hit - thanks to Jason Pettit who made it work and kept in running.

Events @ Re~Cycle:

Friday, Saturday + Sunday:

  • Cycle maintenance lessons @ 1-3 - thanks to the Bike Guru
  • Pedal powered electrical generation workshop @ 3 - thanks to Jason
  • Open mic - which we'll upload to the site!

For Sale: our quality and value wares, to raise much needed funds

  • Organic t-shirts sporting our logo
  • High viz vests, also sporting our log
  • NEW - belts made from recycled bike tyres
  • Fair Trade useful home-wares made from recycled bike chain

Thanks to all who dropped by for a chat and to find out about our work and for the generous support - nearly £550 raised from merchandise sales and donations.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Thu, 09/06/2011 - 14:26

Our man in Ghana, Jason Finch has written to say that he "collected our certificate of registration from Accra yesterday - Ezetela Bicycle Workshop - is an official business!!!  It's a big achievement for us all - including everyone at RC - congratulations!"

Our page about them is here -

Jason's been helping get them up and running, as well as getting vital feedback from existing partners and looking at new organisations to work with.  In addition, he's had a big trip round Africa, visiting bike reuse groups.  "Very Many thanks", says Re~Cycle founder Merlin.


Sarah has created a website to inspire people all around the world to fundraise for a cause they feel passionate about and cycle a route in the shape of a heat!

Launch is raising money for Re~Cycle and is on her 27th Birthday - 12pm on Saturday 2nd July.  For those of you who are not massive cyclists the route will be easy and families and children are more than welcome!

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Sat, 04/06/2011 - 10:12

Our 5th shipment has just been sent on it's way to The Kaloko Trust, Zambia. 414 bikes were loaded plus many wheels and tyres and 74 packages of spare parts. The container will go via the port at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania so we are hoping the the delays at the port that existed earlier this year will have eased and that the eagerly awaited shipment will arrive as soon as possible. 

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Thu, 12/05/2011 - 07:44

Class 1 Teacher Fiona Duffen has told us this lovely story.

"Snowdrop Class at Stanford In The Vale School in Oxfordshire have raised £750 for Re-Cycle through a sponsored bike ride. All term the Year 1 children have worked on a topic on bikes and this made an exciting end to their studies. They have learned about the benefits of using bicycles rather than cars and chose Re-Cycle partly because of this. They have also been interested to see the way the bikes are adapted so that people's lives can be made better. As they cycled round (on a very cold day in March) they were encouraged to think about the long journeys children like them have to make on foot in Africa and how cycling their 10 laps would help to make things easier for them"

Many thanks to Snowdrop class, Mrs. Duffen and all at the school for this wonderful awareness and fund raising event. The money raised has been used towards paying for the balance of the cost of shipping a container of 413 bicycles now on it's way to Namibia.

See also the See The Difference story below and note that there's a new video of the bike being loaded, scroll to the bottom of this page.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Thu, 28/04/2011 - 10:35

Thanks to the Vodaphone Foundation, through the World of Difference programme, we are able to have a full time addition to our team for the next few months.

Laura Mumford was awarded one of 500 World of Difference places which help people to work for a charity of their choice for 2 months full time. Laura will be working on the possibility of tracking our bicycles to establish a greater understanding of their benefits to the recipients in our partner projects and also assisting with the London Reuse Network London hub proposals. You can find out more about her time with Re~Cycle here:

Laura's Blog

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Sun, 03/04/2011 - 23:01

Thanks again to our See The Difference friends who launched a campaign "Send a bike to Namibia" with the help of the wonderful folks here. Together they raised £2,800 to send a container of bikes to Namibia.
The project is now closed and Re~Cycle is 3/4 of the way to filling the container.
We aim to ship the bikes in 2 weeks and will get footage of the loading as well as recipients getting the bikes - watch this space!
Nicola, Lisa, Dom, thank you so much for running the project, donors we are very grateful for your donations and promise to keep you updated on the progress!
Page of event below:

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Fri, 18/03/2011 - 14:30

Thanks to the efforts of our long term supporter Kevin Ablitt (Ipswich's well known Bicycle Doctor), donations of bicycles from the Ipswich area are building up. Kevin has been collecting bicycles, mainly in the evening, and then bringing them down to our warehouse to be included in the next shipment out to Africa. If you have an unwanted bike that you would like to given a new lease of life please ring Kevin 07887 788 972 to arrange a collection.

It would however be extremely helpful to have somewhere to store the bikes until the next delivery to Colchester. If you have an unused garage or large shed or even something a little larger still, Kevin would be delighted to hear from you. It would help to increase the number of bikes we collect and ship and ultimately, increase the number of people in Africa who benefit. Thank you and thanks to all who have donated bikes and supported our work.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Fri, 11/02/2011 - 14:55

Re~Cycle is loading our 100th container today!
This landmark shipment, which is going to Mombasa in Kenya, will take the total number of bicycles sent in the last eleven years past 36,000.

On arrival in Africa, the bikes will be checked over by Re-Cycle’s partner before being distributed to local people to save them from having to walk long distances to access healthcare, education or employment.

Many of the bicycles will help Nurses, Midwives and other heath care workers visit more patients in villages than they could do on foot.


We're doing a collection at Abel&Cole, Wimbledon Saturday 12 February

Bring bikes to donate (with a cash donation, please). Volunteers needed, please, to help with marketing and preparing the bikes for shipping. No experience or tools needed. Contact Rita Solanke - 07783 285 343

And it looks like we're losing our storage there, so PLEASE get in touch if you know of storage in London, ideally 6-8,000 sq feet of space (560-740 sq m with 40-foot container access.  Smaller and without also helpful.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Tue, 16/11/2010 - 16:25

We did our first loading from at Able & Cole's Wimbledon depot.

Some of the old hands from Colchester came and a load of new London volunteers have started to learn the art of packing bikes into a container.  Thanks to all of you, and the prep crew, and Abel&Cole and their volunteers :)

The bikes are going to a women's project run by the Village Bicycle Project (VBP).

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Wed, 10/11/2010 - 16:03

We have just finished loading our 9th container of the year and have cause for a triple celebration -

  • Our first time sending bikes to Malawi
  • The bikes are going to a new partner
  • A record number of bikes loaded - 475

Many thanks to all who donated the bicycles to us and a massive well done and thank you to the fantastic team of loaders.

By: Merlin Matthews

Posted: Thu, 28/10/2010 - 12:32

The next few weeks will be very busy! We will be loading the next shipment of bikes from Colchester in the next 10 days or so - awaiting confirmation of date. What will be our 98th shipment is being sent to Mchinji, Malawi to support an Anti Child Trafficking project run by The Salvation Army International Development Division. This will be the first time that we have shipped to Malawi and the first time that we have worked with such a big partner organisation so we are particularly looking forward to getting the bikes loaded and sent on their way.

The 99th shipment which is to be loaded in Wimbledon, will follow hot on it's heals. This is being sent to The Village Bicycle Project in Accra, Ghana and will comprise of bicycles collected and stored on our behalf by Abel & Cole - see news story below. This loading will take place on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th November.