Uber is throwing away thousands of electric bikes and scooters from Jump, a subsidiary purchased in 2018
Uber sends THOUSANDS of old Jump e-bikes and scooters to a recycling company after deciding they could not be donated to children’s charities due to liability concerns
- Thousands of discarded Jump scooters and e-bikes are recycled
- 18 truckloads filled with the old bikes were delivered to a factory in Durham, NC
- Uber says they did research into donating the bikes, but were concerned about liability
Several thousand electric bikes and scooters from the Jump rental app have been delivered to a recycling facility in Durham, North Carolina for processing.
The bikes are stripped of their electronics and their frames are sent to a separate facility and passed through an auto shredder, then distributed for reuse.
The deliveries were first noticed by Twitter user Cris Moffitt, who shared photos and some short videos on which the bikes were unloaded.
An estimated 18 truck trailers filled with old Jump e-bikes and scooters were delivered to a recycling center in North Carolina for processing
An anonymous employee of the recycling facility, Foss Recycling, said about 18 trailers were delivered in total, according to a report in Vice.
Jump was previously owned by Uber, but was sold to e-scooter company Lime in May, as part of a larger deal in which Uber will invest $ 170 million in Lime.
According to a CNN reportbetween 20,000 and 30,000 jump bikes and scooters have been taken out of service.
A Lime spokesperson said the company had no active intention to recycle Jump bikes or scooters it receives through the deal with Uber, and is working with Uber to ‘find sustainable ways to keep remaining e-bikes in their inventory to donate and use again. ‘
An Uber spokesperson said the company had investigated possible donations of some of Jump’s older bikes and scooters, but was concerned about liability that made them settle for recycling.
“We considered donating the remaining bikes of the older model,” the Uber spokesman said in a statement.
“But considering many key issues – including maintenance, liability, safety issues, and a lack of consumer-grade charging equipment – we decided the best approach was to recycle them responsibly.”
The deliveries were first noticed by Twitter user Cris Moffitt, who photographed the sheer number of bikes dropped off at the facility, where their electronics are stripped and then sent to an automatic shredder to further break down their metal parts
An Uber spokesperson said they originally donated the bikes, but decided to recycle them after liability and safety concerns arose
The news was daunting to many Jump employees, many of whom were affected by Uber’s recent layoff, causing the company to cut its workforce by 14% or about 3,700.
“Part of my personal pride in working for Jump was to witness firsthand the impact these bikes have on communities,” a former Jump employee who wanted to remain anonymous told Vice.
“And with COVID-19, the destroyed bicycle fleet could have done even more good for cities. We are in the middle of a bicycle tree where more people are cycling than ever. ‘
“We are in the midst of an e-bike shortage caused by the Chinese trade war and tens of thousands of e-bikes are being sold for scrap.”
Uber recently announced that it will sell Jump to Lime, one of its biggest competitors in short-term e-bike and scooter rentals, in exchange for a $ 170 million investment in Lime. Lime said it has no intention of recycling the bikes or scooters it receives in the deal
In March, Jump unveiled a new scooter model for the European market, with drum brakes for both front and rear wheels, a replaceable battery, updated anti-theft devices and puncture-resistant tires.
In other parts of the world, it was customary to divest huge amounts of bicycles and scooters from short-term rental companies to make way for newer models.
In 2017, drone footage from Nanjing, China captured over 10,000 discarded bicycles in what was described as a ‘bicycle graveyard’.
In Shanghai, two bicycle recycling facilities are said to have processed 300,000 bicycles per year.