A local recycling initiative is saving vintage bicycles from scrap, helping the environment and providing a low cost recycled alternative thanks to Port Macquarie man Cameron Bate.
Mr Bate who used to work as a tradie in Brisbane, would often see old bicycles out on the curb sides on his way home from work each day.
“It seemed wasteful, so I started collecting them, repairing them and making unique bikes on the weekend as a hobby,” Mr Bate said.
Mr Bate continued to collect and recycle bikes for 20 years and then decided he wanted to turn this into a full time job to follow his passion.
“Australia imports 1.4 million bicycles every year, which results in a lot of these going to waste. Bikes used to go through generations, brothers and sisters, whereas these days it’s more like kids are getting new bikes for birthdays and Christmas,” he said.
After approaching local provider ETC for help, Mr Bate enrolled into the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) which helped him to establish his business ‘Recycle Bicycle’.
“The NEIS Program was great – it enabled me to put my idea into a business plan format to see how it could be profitable and a long term venture. I’ve learned about the financial aspect of running a business and the importance of networking. Bouncing ideas of the other program participants was really helpful as well as the NEIS Mentor who comes to visit me once a month,” Mr Bate said.
“I love running my own business and enjoy going to work every day.”
Cameron encouraged locals to get out on their bikes and enjoy what the local region had to offer.
“I think it’s important these days to gets kids off their devices and out into the fresh air. It’s nice to go and appreciate nature,” he said.
“I like to take my daughter out for adventures – she enjoys exploring nature by bicycle, especially sighting turtles, pelicans and other birds, and water dragon lizards on local rides. Cycling is a great way to see the back paths and places you can’t get to when driving. I’m surprised in this local area how many tracks I’ve found.”
You can pick up one of Cameron’s recycled bicycles at the Port Macquarie Tender Centre or visit his Facebook page recycles.bicycles
The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) helps eligible unemployed people to start and run their own business.
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