Recycling pilot program supports environmentally sustainable cycling in Boulder

The city’s Climate Initiatives Department has partnered with local nonprofit Community Cycles to launch a bike tire recycling pilot program. City support will cover the cost of recycling up to 2,000 used bike tires.

“The city has had a long relationship with Community Cycles,” said Sustainability Program Manager Ellen Orleans. “By funding a portion of their annual bike tire recycling, we’ll help them be an even more sustainability-minded organization.”

When community members donate used tires in good working condition to Community Cycles, the non-profit resells them at their bike shop. With this new partnership, Community Cycles can now take worn out tires that cannot be resold to Eco-Cycle’s Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM).

Once received, Eco-Cycle redirects tire materials to local companies for reuse. Recycled tire treads are given to local tire recyclers who turn them into a range of products, including a material called crumb rubber used in road construction. Inner tubes are sent to a Boulder-based company that transforms them into bags, backpacks and other gear.

“As cyclists, we all want to do better for the planet,” said Community Cycles Shop Director Dax Burgos. “I really feel like this is just one less step, one less hurdle for people to do the right thing.”

Giving old bikes new life

The partnership between Community Cycles and Eco-Cycle goes beyond tire recycling. The two nonprofits also work together to repurpose old bikes. Community Cycles collects whole bikes and bike parts that community members bring to CHaRM. Participants in Community Cycles’ Earn a Bike program use CHaRM donations to rebuild and refurbish bikes, which are donated to low-income community members and sold in Community Cycles’ bike shop.

Apartment entrance with bicycle

Building a Circular Boulder

The city is committed to building a circular economy that reuses, repairs, recycles and composts an increasing number of materials. Reusing hard-to-recycle materials, like bike tires, moves the city closer towards its goal of becoming a zero waste community. The city aims to divert 85% of its waste from landfills by 2025, an internationally recognized milestone used to define a zero waste community.

Circular Boulder vision
Emma Ruffin

How to recycle your used bikes and tires

Recycling your used tires is a one way to join Boulder’s circular economy. In doing so, your tires are returned to the roads they once rode.

Have your bike picked up by Community Cycles

  • Schedule a pick-up using Community Cycles’ pickup form.
  • Leave your bike outside in an obvious location on the first Monday of the month. Staff will come collect the bike between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. There is a $10 charge per bike for this pick-up service.

Bring your bike and bike parts to Community Cycles

  • Community Cycles accepts donations Thursday through Sunday between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on the north side of their shop, located at 2601 Spruce Street, Unit B.

For more information, check out Community Cycles’ donation page.

Take your bike and bike parts to CHaRM

  • There is a $0.50 recycling fee for each bike tire or tube you bring.

For more information, visit the CHaRM webpage.