My family and I began as regular Goshen Re-Cycles customers in 2008 or so. I remember watching guys ride up to our house on bicycles that pulled long trailers that carried the recycling bins filled with aluminum cans, glass, plastic, newspapers and cardboard. Sometimes, we forgot to put out our bins for pick up, and sometimes they forgot to collect our stuff.
Then in the fall of 2009, I began working part-time as the Program Coordinator for CRBP. This meant that I oversaw the recycling program, supervised the Riders, printed their route maps, managed the payroll, invoiced the customers twice a year, processed all the deposits for the bike shop and Goshen Re-Cycles, and I apologized a lot to our customers. I was also the one who drove around town with extra plastic bins to pick up missed recycling bins and leave empty ones for our customers to fill again.
Despite periodic frustrations with several of the Riders, I also grew to care a good deal about many of them over the three years that I managed the program. But, when Borden brought curbside recycling service to the city of Goshen, I felt a mixture of sadness and relief when the CRBP board and I decided that it was time to end the Re-Cycles program.
And, here it is, 2018, and I am still working with Chain Reaction! Why? Because I like to ride bicycles, and I love the way that CRBP serves the community. We help people get reasonably-priced reconditioned bicycles to use for recreational riding, for personal fitness, and for pollution-free transportation. As a woman, I’m glad to be part of an organization that helps people learn how to maintain and repair their own bikes. And the Work-to-Own program where anyone who wants to volunteer in the bike shop can earn credit toward purchasing a bicycle is the best of all, because once upon a time, my bicycle was my only transportation, just like bicycling is for many of our customers.