Why volunteer?

Recyclery volunteers have the satisfaction of rescuing bicycles from the trash and transforming them into a sustainable form of transportation for those in need. We get to work with youth and have a positive impact on the neighborhood. We also share mechanic skills and learn together.

What do volunteers do?

Volunteers fix bikes to donate, teach mechanics, and take part in contributing to our mission. Here are some of the many possible ways to help out.

  • Freecyclery Mechanics: Volunteers fix bikes that we donate to refugees, people experiencing homelessness, and low-income families. This is a great way to learn and practice bike mechanics. We fix these bikes during Volunteer Hours.
  • Open Shop Greeters: Greeters introduce people to the space and keep the shop running smoothly. They meet people at the door, explain the rules, get people signed into a bench, and help them learn how to put their bike in a stand. They also make sure patrons clean their bench and help them check out. Greeters do not need much mechanic experience to start helping at Open Shop.
  • Open Shop Hosts: Skilled mechanics assist others in fixing their bikes at Open Shop. Shop Hosts are key holders in charge of a shift. This position is usually held by collective members.
  • In-Person Bike Sale Assistants: Volunteers help people decide what kind of bike they need, assist with bike fit, and sell accessories at our In-Person Bike Sale. The sale is especially crazy and fun in the summer.
  • Bike Collectors: You can help us by organizing a bike drive, picking up bikes in the Chicago area, or reaching out to property owners or bike shops.
  • Youth Instructors: Youth Instructors teach kids bike mechanics and safe riding skills for our youth programs. Lead teaching positions are paid.
  • Tune Up and Overhaul Class Instructors: Experienced mechanics teach our adult classes. Assistants help everything go smoothly. Lead instructors are paid.
  • Photographers & Videographers: Good photography and videos quickly communicate our mission and accomplishments to others. We need these artists to provide up-to-date content for all our media.
  • Writers: Creative writers add content to our newsletter and website. Interviews with volunteers, bike recipients, and youth bring out stories and show the impact of our work. Grant writers apply for funding for future projects.
  • Graphic Designers: Designers create brochures, flyers, posters, infographics, instructional material, web content, and t-shirts. Most designs should fit our current aesthetics, but there is plenty of room for creativity.
  • Shop Designers and Woodworkers: With a small shop, we need to make every square foot count! Volunteers skilled in design, carpentry, and painting can help us build shelving and storage to make the space efficient and beautiful.
  • Geeks and Programmers: Coordinating our programs requires a lot of databases and software. Some of it is standard proprietary software, but it really fits our mission and style better to work with open source code when possible. Knowledgeable geeks can help us by maintaining, improving, and creating the software we rely on.
  • Ebay Sellers: Volunteers can sell some of our fancy parts online to help fund our programs.

How to start volunteering:

Come to Volunteer Orientation held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of every month, 6pm – 7pm. Please RSVP via [email protected].
Illustrations: Jay Ryan / The Bird Machine

Volunteer Hours are currently only open to vaccinated volunteers.


All staff and visitors must wear appropriate face coverings while inside the building.
The Recyclery COVID-19 Policy