Organize a Bike Drive for BNB

Lynch Family bike drive in 2010

Bikes that BNB accepts

Past bike drives

  • Arlington Bike Donation Extravaganza
    Arlington, MA (NEW LOCATION)
    Oct 23rd, 2021
  • Regional Zero Waste Event
    Shirley, MA
    Oct 23rd, 2021
  • Dover Bike Drive
    Dover, MA
    Oct 16th, 2021
  • Friends of Falmouth Bikeways Bike Drive
    Falmouth, MA
    Oct 2nd, 2021
  • Girl Scout Troop #79182 Bike Drive
    Lynnfield, MA
    Sep 19th, 2021
  • Congregational Church of South Dartmouth Bike Drive
    South Dartmouth, MA
    Sep 18th, 2021
  • Northampton Recycling & Reuse Rally
    Northampton, MA
    Jul 31st, 2021
  • The Wenham Museum Bike Drive
    Wenham, MA
    Jun 26th, 2021
  • Dover Spring Recycle Day
    Dover, MA
    Jun 19th, 2021

Doing a bike collection drive in your community is a great way to support the work of Bikes Not Bombs, and give people outside of Boston a chance to easily donate their old bike. You just help bring the bike donors, we'll come to your town with a big truck and a trained BNB volunteer to collect the bikes. 

You can organize a drive yourself, or involve your local youth group, faith community, civic association, school, or business to get a bit of publicity. 

Basic steps to organizing a drive

  1. Contact Collection Administrator Eric Mearns via email to let us know that you are interested in planning an event, and to secure a date on our calendar.  You'll need to do this at least two months in advance of your proposed event date.  The more notice you can provide us, the better our chances of success will be. Unilateral or "surprise" bike drives aren't necessarily helpful.
  2. Secure a venue, ideally one that is well known to residents of your town, and is easily accessible by car. Some examples would be the High School parking lot, the town green, or the parking lot of a well known church. On the day of the collection, we will need space for our 18' step van, plus a few hundred more square feet to sort and process the incoming bikes, as well as access to drinking water and restrooms.
  3. Round up 4 to 6 volunteers for the day of the event, to help us break down the bikes and prepare them for storage and shipment. The volunteers do not need to have any special skills- we bring tools, and show your crew what needs to be done.
  4. Publicize your event far and wide. Good publicity is critical for a successful bike drive. In our experience, the two best publicity methods are a) Getting your local paper to do a story on your event, and b) Placing large signs in high visibility areas around town. Both of these methods take some work, but they pay off in turnout. Other ideas include asking your paper to put an item in the calendar section, sending messages out to town email lists, making announcements at school or church, printing up fliers and handing them out around town, (and posting on bulletin boards around town).
  5. Let donors know about our suggested donation. We request a tax-deductible $20 donation with every donated bike. The donation is voluntary, but we don't like donors to hear about it for the first time at the collection site, so make sure this information is included in all of your communications about the event.

Bike drive organizing FAQ

Are donations to Bikes Not Bombs tax deductible?

Yes! We are a 501 (c) 3 charity under the IRS code; donated bikes are tax deductible to the extent provided by law.

How will the donated bikes be used?

Read more about our programs!  Want to share more information about Bikes Not Bombs to your bike donors?  Print out a few of these double-sided flyers to hand out!

What support does BNB offer to drive organizers like me?

A Bikes Not Bombs volunteer will attend your drive from start to finish with tools, literature, donation receipts and a van to transport the bikes to our warehouse at the end of the day. We coordinate your volunteers in greeting bike donors and processing the incoming donations.

What are some additional ways to boost turnout at my bike drive?

  • See if your town will let you put an item on the "trash and recycling" page of their website
  • Ask your local DPW or police if you can use their digital light up sign to publicize your event
  • If your town has a transfer station, post a notice there well in advance of your event
  • Visit your local bike shop owner- see if they have abandoned bikes or parts they are willing to donate.
  • Use this template flyer to advertise your drive throughout your neighborhood, at the library, City Hall, etc.  Just write in the time and place of your Bike Drive!

Anything else?

Read the musings of a local mom who organized a successful bike drive along with her son in 2005.