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Pedals for Progress envisions a day when: 1. North America recycles over half of the 5 million used bicycles discarded each year, as well as unused parts and accessories for reuse overseas. 2. Poor people in developing countries have bicycles to get to work, obtain services, and meet other needs. 3. The bicycle is an effective tool for self-help in all developing countries. 4. Trade regulations enhance international commerce in bicycles and parts. 5. Policy makers in developing countries respect and support non-motorized transportation.
Every year, affluent Americans buy 22 million new bicycles and discard millions of old ones, abandoning many more unused in basements, sheds, and garages. Most of these end up in our already overburdened landfills. Meanwhile, poor people overseas need cheap, non-polluting transportation to get to jobs, markets, customers, and schools. Pedals for Progress has received, processed and donated 90,000 bicycles, 500 used sewing machines and $8 million in new spare parts to partner charities in 28 countries. Furthermore, Pedals for Progress promotes bicycle repair businesses in the developing world. Typically, a community owned non-profit bike store will get the first containerized cargo shipment for free (about 450 bicycles), but that repair store then has to earn enough money selling the repaired bikes to pay for the next shipment. Pedals for Progress isn't just donating used bicycles: It's also helping developing world economies by promoting self-sustaining bicycle repair businesses.
- Reykha Bonilla
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