Scrap Bike? No way!

The project "Aus Schrott mach Rad" upgrades old wheels - as a functional "new" wheel, work of art or furnishing

We’ve all been there: Whether on our way to work or class, looking for an available bike stand can be difficult due to the number of abandoned “scrap bikes” which permanently take up space and make it impossible to lock our own bikes.

A TU Berlin student project has now taken up this problem in winter semester 2020/21: The project “Aus Schrott mach Rad” is supported by Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection (SDU) and advised by the initiative Re-Use Berlin e.V.

The project aims to refurbish and upcycle abandoned bikes blocking valuable bike stands on the TU Berlin campus. 

© Stabsstelle Sicherheitstechnische Dienste und Umweltschutz

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Students organize the project

Carl Kukuk, M.Sc. Industrial Engineering and Management, about "bicycle corpses" on campus:

“When I look around the campus, I get so frustrated by all these scrap bikes rusting away and blocking the bike stands. Every week a different part of the bike has gone missing and it just becomes even scrappier, barely resembling a bike.”

Manuel Asbach, M.Sc. Environmental Science and Technology, on the potential of "scrap wheels":

“Because we often don't pay attention to these rundown bikes and it’s a time-consuming process to have them removed, they block parking spots for a long time. However, they also offer the potential to close the materials cycle and contribute to sustainability by being refurbished into functional bikes again.”

Theory turns into practice: "Aus Schrott mach Rad" is part of the European Week for Waste Reduction

The student project is also participating in the European Week for Waste Reduction, which is dedicated to the topic “Invisible Waste - Waste we don’t see - take a closer look!”, a fitting theme for the scrap bikes which often go unrecognized as waste. The action week is taking place across Germany from 21 to 29 November 2020, as well as in more than 33 countries in Europe and beyond. An action map documents the work around the world. During this action week, “Aus Schrott mach Rad” undertook the following steps: Abandoned bicycles that had previously been identified as such were legally removed from the bike stands. Additionally, the condition and details of each bike were recorded. The bikes were then transported using a bicycle cargo trailer to a central storage location.

Now it's your turn: Take part in the ideation competition!

Curious to learn more? An ideation competition is being held to collect ideas for re-using and upcycling each of the scrap bikes. The ideas, such as restoring a bike to working condition or for another creative use, will be implemented within six weeks and presented during the lecture-free period. The project will also include documentation of the results to demonstrate what active waste prevention can look like. Beginning 30 November 2020, you will be able to view a gallery of all the available abandoned bikes online. Another special feature: Participants not only submit their idea but implement it too. Idea and re-use become one as participants select a scrap bike to realize their own project. As part of our idea competition, you have until 24 January to apply for one of these bikes.

Organization name Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection
Organization name Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection