Steger Police Propel Forest Preserve Bike Recycling
Steger Police unload 25 unclaimed bikes during the Forest Preserve District of Will County’s “Recycle Your Bicycle” program on Oct. 28. From left to right are Steger Police Sgt. Pete Fajman; Ben Gauchat, a Forest Preserve operations crew member; and Steger Police Deputy Chief Gerald Ruff. (Photo by Forest Preserve staff | Jason Stevenson)
A 25-bike donation from Steger Police pushed the Forest Preserve District of Will County's fall "Recycle Your Bicycle" program to a new record. A total of 147 bikes were collected during the program, which ended October 31. That topped the previous record of 127 bikes collected in fall 2017. The bikes will be picked up by Chicago-based Working Bikes, and most of them will be rehabbed.
All were unclaimed bikes that had been in storage at the police department. At a certain point each year, the department runs out of room at the public works garage and the squad car garage, and the bikes have to go.
When the department heard about the Forest Preserve’s bike recycling program, it was the perfect solution. “Instead of just scrapping them,” Sgt. Pete Fajman said. “This is a great alternative, and this way, the department does something good and helps people."
Angie Opiola, program coordinator at Monee Reservoir, thinks the word is getting out that this program serves a need not only for individuals that have unused bikes gathering dust, but also for police departments and other agencies that find themselves with too many bikes to store. In many cases, there are restrictions on what police and public agencies can do with confiscated or found bikes, so the Recycle Your Bicycle program fills a need.
For more information, visit ReconnectWithNature.org. For more information on how to donate your bike, visit WorkingBikes.org.