Roy Whaling, a heavy equipment operator at the regional landfill, was dismayed at the number of usable bicycles he’d seen thrown out as trash. At his retirement party, Whaling mentioned the problematic disposals to Stafford Supervisors Pamela Yeung and Meg Bohmke. “The idea really started with Roy,” explained Francesca Johnson, recycling manager at the R-Board, which oversees solid waste management for both Stafford County and the City of Fredericksburg.   

Starting in October 2023, the supervisors and the R-Board partnered with Stafford Community Church to collect bikes from the landfill, repair them, and then donate them to the community.  The joint venture has proven so successful that it was recognized recently with a 2024 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties. The award honors innovative, effective county government programs that strengthen services for residents.  

To date, volunteers have collected and repurposed over 75 bicycles. Mark DeCourcey, the missions pastor at Stafford Community Church, says another 50 to 75 bikes are awaiting restoration at the church. DeCourcey’s first move was to gather a group of cycling enthusiasts, who volunteered to refurbish and repair the gently used bikes that are dropped off at the landfill.

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Author: Kathy Knotts, Fredericksburg Free Press
Image: Mark DeCourcey, Fredericksburg Free Press