Amsterdam ships abandoned bikes to refugee camps in Jordan

woman smoking with row of bikesHundreds of bikes which have been abandoned by their owners in Amsterdam are being shipped to refugee camps in Jordan, the Parool reported at the weekend.

Every year, some 30,000 bikes are left uncollected from the city’s central bike depot and the first shipment of 350 will be loaded into a container for Jordan on Wednesday.

In total, the city plans to send 1,400 bikes to two refugee camps, after they have been repaired by a team of volunteers. Bikes which otherwise may well be destroyed can be put to good use by Syrian refugees, city official Ton Buffing told the paper.

Not only can they be used as forms of transport, but the bikes can also be rebuilt into rickshaws or cargo bikes, which is good for stimulating trade within the camps, he said.

The bikes have all been collected by the city’s ‘bike police’ who remove illegally parked two-wheelers and take them to a depot in the western port area of Amsterdam. Only a small proportion of their owners ever collect them.

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