A bike shop with a social story

6 July 2022 De Hallen

Recycle helps people with a psychological vulnerability, addiction and/or judicial background on their way back to work. The social enterprise offers them daytime activities an apprenticeship, which gives them another chance to participate in society.

Recycle originated as an initiative of Jellinek and the Oud-West district in 2004. Since 2006, the bicycle shop has been under the wings of Roads, where Recycle has grown into a social enterprise with a focus on recovery, participation and transition to the labor market with commercial income.

Workshop Recycle

Bike with a special story
In addition to the bicycle shop, the social enterprise also has a workshop and manages the Passage and the bicycle shed of De Hallen Amsterdam.

In the workshop, participants are trained step by step by passionate technical professionals to become bicycle mechanics. A lot of love and time is put into refurbishing and repairing (old classic) bicycles. The second-hand bicycles from Recycle may therefore have a slightly higher price tag, but you are buying a bicycle with a special story! When purchasing such a beautifully refurbished bicycle, pay particular attention to the special Recycle label. On this label you can read the story of the participant who worked on the bicycle. In this way, the bicycle store puts the participant in question in the spotlight, giving him or her more self-confidence and recognition. At the same time, Recycle also creates more awareness for their social story.

Recycle makes
The store sells bikes from sustainable brands like Roetz, Achielle and Toyobikes. You will also find various bicycle accessories and ‘own’ products made of old bicycle parts.

The project ‘Recycle Makes’ originated in the workshop where one of the participants made lamps from old bicycle lamps. She also sold these lamps in the bike store and at The Maker Market. Unfortunately, she passed away, but in memory of her, Recycle still sells the lamps. In the meantime, a mini workshop has been created where participants can make their own products, which are sold in the store. This makes the participants extremely proud!


Bicycle lamps


Scala of people
The social workshop has a variety of people with different problems.

"It is special to see someone with a mild intellectual disability with psychological problems walking around here together with a company psychologist with a burnout or an ex-convict. " - Tieme Bezemer work supervisor at Recycle

According to Tieme Bezemer, work supervisor at Recycle, this is beautiful and yet challenging at the same time. For example, the different backgrounds within the group can clash at times. But at the same time, this same dynamic ensures that people stick together.

The participants all come to Recycle with a certain goal. This may be reintegration, but that does not apply to everyone. Social participation is sometimes also very nice.

From a trial period, the needs and talents of the participant are mapped out. So that everyone gets a place within the workshop or the management that suits him or her best. During the course one can continue to grow and follow various training courses. For example, Recycle offers training in bicycle technology, glass processing, an aerial lift certificate or hospitality. Everyone follows the training at his/her own level and pace.

To get ready for the bicycle mechanic exams, there is an occasional exchange with bicycle mechanics in the area. Participants can shadow them to see how things work in ‘real life’.


Recycle in the city
In addition to its location in De Hallen, Recycle also has a number of smaller locations throughout the city. Here the participants are given more responsibility.

"They are small workshops where the participants can work independently. You can compare it to a stand-alone small bike shop. Sometimes they are alone on the floor and also have to perform cash register operations. This is good practice for when they eventually get to work at a real bicycle shop." - Tieme Bezemer work supervisor at Recycle

When they are completely ready, the participants are linked to a route coach who helps them further in their reintegration. Each year, a number of participants move on to paid work at, among others, cleaning companies, bicycle repair shops and hotels.

Is your bike due for service soon or are you looking for a nice new bike? Then be sure to stop by Recycle! Your contribution to the social enterprise helps a great group of people get back to work!

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