(Photos: Community Cycling Center)

Many of you have probably heard of the Community Cycling Center. It’s that plucky (or should I say scrappy) nonprofit known for their bike shop on NE Alberta Street, their summer camps, and more recently, a food delivery program.

But did you know they also recycle tons of scrap metal every year? 25 tons to be exact!

One of the things that powers the CCC programs and business model are the hundreds of bikes they receive as donations every year. They clean and repair as many of them as they can. Then they salvage all the usable parts. What’s left over is a messy combinations of plastic, rubber, and different types of metal that has no use to anyone. It can’t be used for cycling and it’s no good for recycling because it’s too mixed up. They offer some of it to the community via salvage sales where folks can rummage around for things to use in art projects, garden sculptures, for welding practice, and so on. But there’s still a ton of leftovers no one wants to eat.

That’s were CCC staff and volunteers come in. “We could take bikes and parts to the scrap yard without separating types of metal and removing plastic and rubber, but we want to do right by our donors, our community, and our industry,” the org said in an email today. “So we put in the extra effort to deliver clean scrap metal only. This ensures that the material will actually be recycled and used for years to come!”

This arduous process includes stripping frames, separating aluminum rims from steel spokes, separating tires, tubes, saddles, pedals and more. They estimate they recycle over 50,000 lbs of metal every year that would otherwise be taking up space in a landfill.

The CCC’s salvage program is just one cool way this nonprofit helps our community. And they’re just one of many great, bike-related nonprofits in Portland. Right now the Willamette Week is hosting their annual Give Guide, which is a handy way to learn about and donate to not just the CCC, but also to Northwest Trail Alliance, Depave, OPAL Environmental Justice, Albina Vision Trust, The Street Trust, and many other great organizations that care about our streets and our city.

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