Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

October 11, 2003


'Green Bicycle' Project Popular in Nagano City

Keywords: Climate Change NGO / Citizen Reduce / Reuse / Recycle Transportation / Mobility 

In the spring of 2003, a citizens' group called NASL International Environmental Forum started a project they call "Re-cycling" that makes use of used bicycles in Nagano, a city in the mountains of central Japan. It has been steadily growing during the four months since it began. Citizens can use "Green Bicycles" parked at "Green Stations" for free, and all they have to do is return the bicycles to the nearest Green Station after using them.

To get across the message of the importance of reusing things, the group accepts only bicycles that have already been used and then donated by citizens. There are no attendants at the stations and no locks on the bicycles. Most of the bicycles are out of the stations and in use during the day, but in the evening they return one after another. The NASL members make the rounds of the stations to check and fix the bicycles on Sundays.

Initially, only 10 bicycles were available at two stations. By the fourth month, a total of 56 bicycles were running at eight stations, and offers to donate used bicycles kept coming in from citizens. Occasionally riders abandon the bicycles in front of train stations and some are stolen, but the NASL plans to move ahead, undaunted by the little problems.

This project started with a wish to make Nagano a more comfortable city to live in by preventing the hollowing-out of the city center, as well as with the aim of recycling used bicycles and decrease vehicle exhaust emissions. Some neighboring communities have shown an interest and are likely to introduce the system soon.

Posted: 2003/10/11 08:47:14 AM
Japanese version