Example – bicycle remanufacturing

Generic product activity or name

Pedal bike

Context and background
Bicycles collected as lost property in Denmark are normally disposed of as scrap metal and recycled by re-melting.

Presentation of example
A project by Baisikeli ApS instead sends some of the bikes to Mozambique where they are made ready for sale and sold locally. This is an example a recycling activity that directly supplies outputs of by-products that can substitute a reference product as an input to an activity. In this case the Danish bicycles will substitute new bikes, mainly manufactured in India.

The figure below show the activities in the total system and show how the total output of the system is kept neutral, so that the analysis is limited to the effect of a decision to re-use the bicycles in Mozambique.

reference flow bicycle

Figure: Overview of the affected activities in the analysed system. Blue boxes represent new activities when reusing the bikes in Mozambique. Brown boxes represent activities that are reduced when reusing the bikes in Mozambique. Note that the net output of the total system is neutral, i.e. the only thing that changes is the way the net output (3 years use of bicycles in Mozambique and metal, respectively) is supplied.

The figure above illustrates the increase in some activities and reductions in other activities without displaying negative flows. When modelling this in an LCA software, the different activities are typically linked together into one coherent system where the displaced activities are then represented as negative inputs to the activities that cause the displacement.

Information sources used
Information concerning the bicycle market in Mosambique was obtained from Baisikeli ApS (pers. comm.) and Baisikeli annual accounts 2012.

Weidema B P (2013). Klima-fodaftryk for genbrug af hittegodscykler – Carbon footprint for Baisikeli’s genbrugsprojekt i Mozambique. 2.-0 LCA consultants, Aalborg, Denmark. http://www.lca-net.com/files/baisikeli_report.pdf

Author of this example
Bo Weidema


How to reference this
Weidema B P (2014), Example – bicycle remanufacturing. Version: 2014-12-19 www.consequential-lca.org