The Lake Region Solid Waste Authority (LRSWA) sponsors an Adopt-A-Bike program, which helps to divert broken and discarded bikes from ending up in landfills by refurbishing them and arranging for them to be adopted back into participating communities.
The program was originally organized by the Lake Region Resource Conservation and Development Council in 1999 by Don Stottlemire, Lake Region RC&D President and Franklin County Commissioner. Since that time, through partnering with the Lake Region Solid Waste Authority and Ellsworth Correctional Facility, the Adopt-A-Bike program has donated thousands of bikes to children and adults throughout the six Lake Region counties; Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, Linn, Miami, and Osage counties.
As part of the program, broken and unwanted bicycles are collected at designated drop-off locations in each county, typically the county transfer stations, landfills or recycling centers. Miami County is the exception as their transfer station is operated by an external contractor, so the current drop-off location is at the Fire Lake Soapery in Paola. **With upcoming grant funding from KDHE's Solid Waste Grant, the LRSWA will soon be installing new Adopt-A-Bike program signs at the transfer stations, in order to better identify those bike drop-off locations .
The donated bicycles are transported from the individual counties and consolidated in Franklin County before being sent to Ellsworth Correctional Facility, where inmates work to strip the salvageable parts and reassembled them into sturdy, refurbished, functional bikes. Once refurbished the bikes are transported back to Franklin County and stored in a trailer at the Noxious Weed Department. **With upcoming grant funding from KDHE's Solid Waste Grant, a new cargo container will replace the existing trailer in order to provide better protection and decrease the deterioration of the refurbished bikes while pending adoption. It will also allow for the storage of bicycle helmets and other program supplies inside the container.
The county ECKAN offices and various partner organization who are able to publicly promote the Adopt-A-Bike program were recently provided with new signs to hang on the wall in their offices to indicate their role as designated locations to access adoption applications. The Adopt-A-Bike program has an information brochure designed to explain and promote the program. Included within the brochure are program details, the application form and instructions for submission, plus the positive environmental, physical, and monetary benefit of cycling. Click here to see a list of application locations by county.
The Adopt-A-Bike program promotes environmental sustainability by eliminating bicycles and associated scrap metal from ending up in the landfills. It is also a community centered program, as the repurposed bikes are available to be adopted out into the communities and increase participation in positive recreational activities. Behind the scenes, the Adopt-A-Bike program continues to contributing to jobs for the inmates at Ellsworth Correctional Facility, who are working to refurbish the bikes.
Contact the Lake Region RC&D office or the LRSWA Regional Coordinator with any questions.
Lake Region RC&D
P.O. Box 220
Ottawa, KS 66067
A copy of the adoption application is available through the link below.
Don Stottlemire and Mark Peters delivering bikes adopted out by residents of My Father's House in Paola
2019 marked the 20th anniversary of the Adopt-A Bike Program!
Helmets donated by Modern Woodmen of American