Preloved Is in the Air

Northern Ireland Resources Network (NIRN) and East Belfast Mission are working in tandem to find new homes for preloved bikes while proceeds will go towards raising funds to renew and transform the East Belfast Community.

It was the perfect match… East Belfast Mission needed preloved bikes to repair and resell in its charity shops, Restore, and Belfast City Council needed partners to donate its retired bikes.

Belfast Bikes

Belfast City council contacted NIRN, a new Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) funded network of reuse and repair organisations to advise. With NIRN’s help, the bikes were soon matched up with a range of charities and social enterprises across the city, including fellow NIRN member, East Belfast Mission.

Eimear Montague, Network Coordinator for NIRN said “NIRN was pleased to help the Council with this initiative. It was especially pleasing to connect these two Members who mutually support recirculating the bicycles for the benefit of the local community whilst also helping to reduce Northern Ireland’s waste.”

This exchange of preloved bikes will provide environmental benefits by contributing to the circular economy, which aims to maintain the value of products, materials and resources within the economy for as long as possible, and to minimise the generation of waste. It will also have social and economic benefits as social enterprises create jobs and training opportunities and invest in services for communities.

Councillor Daniel Baker, Chair of the People and Communities Committee said: “By working with the NI Resources Network to expand the levels of reuse and repair in Belfast we will keep goods and materials in use for longer. Prime example of this in action was the recent donation we made to community groups and charities of our old Belfast Bike models. These bikes have been upcycled and are being reused in communities across the city. Increasing levels of reuse and repair aligns with our waste objectives and will make the city more environmentally sustainable, but it will also deliver benefits to our community at the same time. We believe that this kind of ‘circular economy’ thinking and approach, which combines social, economic and environmental benefits, has much to offer the city, and membership of the network will help us capitalise on more opportunities.”

East Belfast Mission redirects tonnes of waste furniture and bicycles which would normally end up in landfill. Their Recycle project repairs and refurbishes bicycles both donated by the public and collected from council recycling centres – these are then sold in its chain of Restore charity shops or donated through its services to those in need in the community.

Belfast Bikes

“We are over the moon recently to have received 10 brilliant Belfast Bikes from Belfast City Council! These bikes will be used in a range of ways across our charity including within our Hosford Homelessness Services and Employability Services to provide vital transport for clients travelling to work and appointments who otherwise would have to rely on public transport, we will also be refurbishing some of these bicycles in our Refurb project for sale in our Restore shops across Belfast, and beyond, to help to raise vital funds towards our work changing lives in east Belfast. We are so grateful for the generous support of Belfast City Council and can’t wait to see these bikes back out on the road in our community!” said Michael Sloan, East Belfast Mission Retail Manager

As Northern Ireland continues to tackle its waste generation and develop further the circular economy thinking and approach, NIRN and its members will work to promote and to drive education and awareness and further opportunities for reuse. For more information about NIRN and its members contact [email protected]