MERIDIAN, Idaho — Four years ago Rachele Klein noticed a trend at the Republic Services Meridian Transfer Station, she watch bikes being tossed away and she decided to do something about it.
Rachele put out a container for bikes and after they started coming in volunteers who work at Republic Services started refurbishing the bike.
"My office is right here in the corner of this building and I can oversee the transfer station and I would see bikes being thrown out every day," said Klein. "The container gave people an option to recycle their bicycle and it just kind of blew up from there."
The City of Meridian, the Parks and Recreation Department and the Solid Waste Advisory Commission all came on board after to put resources into this program and make it a year-round effort to put less waste in the landfill while helping families get new bikes.
"It just made sense that bicycles that were going through the transfer station needed to be back in someone's hands," said Mark Nelson, the solid waste commissioner. "Our commission got together and began the recycle a bicycle program."
Anybody with an old bike that is broken down, rusty or one they just don't use anymore can drop their bike off at Republic Services Meridian Transfer Station.
Meridian's Unplug and Be Outside initiative is a week-long event that kicks off on May 7. On Saturday, 25 to 30 bikes will be given away at Kleiner Park which will also include free helmets from St. Luke's and a bike safety rodeo put together by the Meridian Police Department as this has turned into a full-on team effort.
"All of them are just environmentally conscious they don’t like to see things wasted and what can be recycled and reused," said Nelson. "So everybody is involved and we are just excited to have a solution."
To fill out an application to receive one of these bikes click here, people have until 5:00 p.m. on Friday to do so, but if you don't get one you may still want to show up to the event because we were told there might be a few extras.
As for Rachele Klein, she said she can't wait to see children and even adults get a new bicycle so they can enjoy the riding this summer.
"We have training wheels for kids that are just learning, we have given tricycles away, and tag-alongs for kids on the back of parent's bikes," said Klein. "I’ll tell you what, we have pictures of smiles I would sometimes like to share because there are some pretty happy kids and adults that get bikes.”