The organization Livingston County Recycles meets every Monday in the basement of Swain Sports, surrounded by an assortment of bicycles and bicycle parts, which they plan to repair and give to those in Livingston County who are in need of transportation.
The organization began when alumna Molly Kirker, class of '09, found a collection of abandoned bikes in the basement of a food pantry in Mount Morris. Kirker contacted senior Jon Hoose, vice president of the Geneseo Environmental Organization, to see if there would be interest in fixing the bikes and donating them to people in need.
Hoose said he was more than willing to take up the project. According to Hoose, "There is only one bus system in Livingston County and it runs on two hour loops so it is hard for a lot of people to get to their job."
Sophomore Toby Ring has worked as a bike mechanic in different bicycle shops for the last four years. "Some of the bikes are ready to go, but others need a lot of work and we're waiting to get more bike parts so we can start fixing them," he said. Ring will do most of the work on the bikes, but he is also teaching other members of the group bike maintenance.
"I wanted to learn how to fix bikes myself and do something good for the community," said sophomore Marta Driscoll. "It's hard to interact with people from the town unless you actually go out and meet them."
For junior Arielle Aranoff, Livingston County Recycles was a way to "forge a bond between the university and the town." She added, "We've gotten a lot of donations already and hopefully more community involvement will come as we become a more grounded organization."
"It's both fun and educational because we get to have fun learning how to fix bikes and at the same time we're helping people who need transportation," said junior Garrett Burger. "If you work a 9-to-5 in some areas it is hard to get to the grocery store, especially in places like Mount Morris, where they don't have a store."
Livingston County Recycles is currently attempting to bring in more donations from the community so they can begin repairing the bikes and eventually giving them to those in need, along with bike helmets and bike locks.