Kalamunda’s gift of pedal power

A Shire of Kalamunda staff member loads the bikes onto a Bicycles for Humanity truck.
A Shire of Kalamunda staff member loads the bikes onto a Bicycles for Humanity truck.

THE Shire of Kalamunda has donated more than 50 bicycles dropped off at the Walliston Transfer Station to the charity Bicycles For Humanity.

The not-for-profit group works to alleviate poverty through sustainable transport in the form of bikes.

About 1.5 million bikes are sold in Australia each year and it is estimated about half will end up unused or abandoned.

Bicycles For Humanity helps to put this huge resource to use in some of the poorest countries in the world, as well as in remote WA communities.

Shire president Andrew Waddell said the shire donated the bikes to prevent them going into landfill or becoming scrap metal, and enabling them to be re-used.

“We look forward to an ongoing relationship with this and other such community groups,” Cr Waddell said.

“Residents are encouraged to dispose of any unwanted bikes at the transfer station.”

In the developing world, bicycles can be life-changing, giving people access to health- care, education, economic opportunity and the wider community.

Having a bike means people can travel twice as far, twice as fast and carry four times the load, enabling profound positive changes in poorer people’s lives.

Each of the shipping containers that Bicycles For Humanity sends becomes a bike workshop, providing employment, skills, training, business, opportunity and economic development for the community in which it’s placed.

Each of these Bicycle Empowerment Centres (BEC) becomes a self-sustaining entity, fitting into the model of micro-financed small business that is one of the most effective ways for developing countries to move away from aid dependence.