Recycle Your Bicycle Program Expands to Hidden Oaks Nature Center

The fall Recycle Your Bike program will be even more convenient this fall with two locations to drop off cobweb-encrusted bikes you no longer want or use.

All donated bikes are donated to Chicago-based works bikeswho refurbishes and distributes them locally and globally to those who need an affordable and sustainable mode of transportation for work, school, community services, recreation and more.

In the past, the Forest Reserve’s spring and fall bike recycling program has been held at the Monee Reservoir in Monee Township, but this fall the program will also be offered at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Bolingbrook.

The Recycle Your Bicycle collection program will take place from Saturday September 17th to Sunday October 2nd.

  • Bikes can be cycled from 6:00 a.m. until sunset at Monee Reservoir. The bike depot is on the north side of the car park.
  • Bikes can be cycled from 8:00 a.m. until sunset at the Hidden Oaks Nature Center. The bicycle depot is located in the car park opposite the nature center.

Bikes and bike parts can be in any condition, new or unrepairable.

Additionally, as part of the Recycle Your Bicycle program, Monee Reservoir and Hidden Oaks will be offering e-bike demonstrations provided by Working Bikes. Audience members can pedal exercise bikes that are hooked up to generators to power a record player. Bikes will be available during Visitor Center hours.

Work Bike Tour

To learn more about the work bikes, Forest Preserve staff visited the facility in June.

“After the visit, I was able to understand the full breadth of how their process works and how many communities and countries they touch,” said Jason Stevenson, concessions manager at the Monee Reservoir Visitor Center. “To see the pride they all take in their work to give to others only reaffirms my desire to continue this program and to continue to grow it.”

Stevenson is working on a bike recycling exhibit at Monee Reservoir that will showcase work bikes and the benefits of upcycling and recycling.

“With the new exhibit, I hope to encourage more people to bring bikes and bike parts to the program,” he said.

Suzy Lyttle, Forest Preserve Program Coordinator, was inspired by her visit to the site for the August episode of the nature show “The Buzz,” which she hosts.

“Working Bikes staff and volunteers are so passionate about their mission,” she said. “Whether it’s teaching people mechanical skills, providing volunteer opportunities, or shipping bikes around the world, it’s just a feel-good operation. There’s no reason to dump your bike when Working Bikes can give it new life.

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Working Bikes refurbishes some of the donated bikes and sells them in its store to raise money for the operation, but most are donated to people with disabilities, young people and families in developing countries in Africa and Central America. The group collected more than 10,000 bikes in 2021 across the Midwest.

“Bikes help beneficiaries access essential resources and opportunities, provide a sustainable and safe transportation alternative, and bring people together!” the group indicated in its annual report 2021.

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