Recycled Bicycles Add New Dimension to UCM’s Green Commitment
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (April 4, 2011) – Parking the car and jumping on a bicycle to navigate the University of Central Missouri campus has become a little easier with a new program that gives “re-cycling” new meaning.
UCM’s Office of Sustainability launched the Re-Cycles program March 28 as students returned to campus from spring break. Students and staff now have the opportunity to check out a bright green bicycle from the rack in front of UCM’s James C. Kirkpatrick Library for their personal use, free of charge. The new program expands UCM’s campus-wide commitment to sustainability and living a “green” lifestyle.
Manny Abarca, a UCM graduate student from Kansas City who also is the university’s sustainability coordinator, said the idea for the program came from similar programs in other communities. With a budget of $5,000 provided by the offices of Administration and Finance and Student Affairs, Abarca and Taylor Hermann, a UCM student from Jefferson City and assistant sustainability coordinator, began assembling the needed resources.
Kevin Klobe, owner of Freeride bicycle shop in downtown Warrensburg, joined Abarca for a trip to the UCM surplus lot on Hale Lake Road. Fifteen bicycles were selected to be rebuilt by Klobe from those abandoned on the UCM campus over the years. Each bike was disassembled, and the frames were sanded by student volunteers during UCM’s 2011 MLK Celebration community service day in January. The frames then were taken to Lund’s Body Shop in Warrensburg, where they were painted emerald green.
Klobe reassembled the bicycles, rebuilding them each with a single gear and replacing the necessary parts to assure safety and reliability. Stickers bearing the Re-Cycles logo featuring UCM mascot Mo the Mule, created by graphic designers in the UCM Office of Publishing and Promotions, were applied, and the bikes were ready to ride.
“The library staff has been great,” Abarca said. When approached to be the point of contact for students to check out the bicycles, the library staff agreed to do so through the main circulation desk on the first floor of library.
Any UCM student or staff member with valid UCM identification may check out a bicycle, along with a helmet and lock, for a few hours or a period of up to two weeks. As with any library property, fines are applied if the bicycle is returned late, damaged or lost.
“The response already has been very positive from students and staff,” Hermann said. If the program is well accepted, she added, it could grow, with more bicycles made available.
For Abarca, the program accomplishes several goals that meet the requirements for “going green.”
“We’ve recycled 15 bicycles that had been discarded as useless, and we’re encouraging people to look to alternatives for fossil fuels for local transportation while reducing each individual’s carbon footprint,” he said. “It also has brought the university and the business community together in a project that benefits everyone.”