Pete O’Keefe said he believes that just because something is abandoned, it doesn’t mean it can’t be reborn again.
O’Keefe, the University’s Reuse Program coordinator, helps run the Reuse Warehouse, an enormous stockroom filled with used University furniture, accessories and other unwanted items.
The warehouse began selling more than 200 unclaimed bikes collected Thursday by University Parking and Transportation Services around campus and plans to continue selling for weeks to come.
“We take stuff we feel can have a second life,” O’Keefe said.
Standing in a long line inside the warehouse building, bikes varied in condition.
“Some are twisted hunks of metal,” O’Keefe said. “Some are beautiful.”
Parking and Transportation Services officials said they use a specific procedure to find and collect abandoned bikes.
Bikes must first appear to look abandoned, said Jacqueline Brudlos, Parking and Transportation Services marketing coordinator. Officials then tag the suspected bikes.
Brudlos said that if the bike is not removed within a month, officials will donate it to the Reuse Program.
In May, Parking and Transportation Services tagged 256 bikes and then removed 150 that were still there in June, Brudlos said.
Bikes are often tagged when they are covered in snow, rusted over or are complained about by students, she added.
All bikes were $25 this week. Prices will be $5 lower each week until most are sold. O’Keefe said unsold bikes are broken down and sold for parts, then eventually recycled.
“Our goal is ‘don’t throw things out,’ ” he said.
More than $1 million’s worth of discarded material is circulated through the warehouse annually, O’Keefe said, and all revenue is used for in-store purchases.
Joel Cahalan walked the warehouse’s aisles Thursday, eyeing used bikes to possibly sell in his store, the Hub Bike Co-op.
Cahalan said he has bought a few bikes at previous Reuse Warehouse bike sales.
“There are a couple good ones,” Cahalan said. “But they’re all in pretty bad shape.”
Cahalan said many of the bikes will need at least $50 in repairs and people should wait to buy the bikes until they are cheaper.
Buying and fixing up a used bike can be a good idea, he said.
“A cleaned-up, used bike can sometimes be better than a new bike,” he said.