Recycling by bicycle

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
recycle by bicycle

Meet 38 year-old Mike Colhour. He runs a successful scrap metal recycling business by bike. He rides around the neighborhood, collecting scrap metal and plastics from dumpsters and from the side of the road.

He’s been doing this for 10-15 years all over Vancouver and Portland. He recycles all kinds of stuff including glass, wire, stereos, toasters, and so on.

Once he fills his custom-made dual trailer system he cashes in his load at Metro Metals Northwest.

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Cargo trailer ingenuity

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
homeless cargo ingenuity

Riding home today I noticed this peculiar trailer set-up. The guy who owns it was stopped and fiddling with his derailleur so I decided to introduce myself and take a closer look.

Allen (picture below), who calls his bike his home, has put together this hi-capacity cargo trailer for hauling cans, bottles, and other stuff he finds on the side of the road.

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The bike move that never ends

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward
random bike homes

Lately I’ve been seeing more and more bikes being used by Portland’s homeless population. I’ve started to get to know a few of them and hear their stories and experiences about their nomadic, rolling existence.

Sometimes I won’t meet the owner of the bike, I’ll just observe its load and marvel at the bungee cording skills that it takes to carry everything they own, everywhere they go.

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