Rolling toward a greener planet
June 9, 2008 · Updated 7:03 PM
Classic Cycle is honored for its environmentally sound practices.
If biking wasnt already green enough, Classic Cycle on High School Road just deepened it another shade.
Using a variety of innovative recycling and low-waste strategies, the four-year-old business has earned four out of five stars in the Kitsap County Health Districts EnviroStars program.
The bike business is, in general, good for the environment, said Classic Cycle co-owner Jeff Groman. A lot of commuters on the island bike because they want to cut down on pollution.
That kind of thinking goes hand-in-hand with our store.
The EnviroStar program certifies businesses for taking steps to prevent pollution and reduce hazardous waste.
The program was created in King County in 1995 and came to Kitsap County two years later.
The goal is to give businesses incentives and recognition for reducing hazardous waste, while giving consumers an objective way to identify environmentally sound businesses, according to health district material.
Classic Cycle is the first bike shop in the county to earn such a rating, according to Eva Crim, the districts pollution prevention coordinator.
Classic Cycle earned four stars for recycling more than just paper, glass and plastic. Solvents used to clean bike parts are stored after use and sent to a licensed hazardous waste collector.
But we use so little solvents, they only have to come twice a year to collect it, co-owner Els Heyne said.
Mechanics at the shop rely on citrus-based cleaners and more old-fashioned methods to clean parts.
We use a lot of soap and water, and weve found elbow grease works pretty well too, said Groman.
The shop is currently gathering a truckload of bent bike wheels for a trip to a metal recycler. Groman estimates the shop disposes of hundreds of used wheels each year.
Popped and punctured inner tubes at the shop have long seen new life as waterproof bags. Gathered in a bin, Classic Cycle periodically sends its rubber tubes to Seattles Alchemy Goods, a new business that converts them into bike messenger bags.
The shop also supplies Oregons Resource Revival with old chains and gears that are refashioned into clocks, jewelry and furniture.
Heyne is still searching for someone to take the copious numbers of used tires the shop pulls off bikes.
Its hard to find something to do with them, but it just calls for more innovation, she said.
Sustainable business innovation is the lesson of nearly every day for Heyne, a first-year student in the Bainbridge Graduate Institutes master of business administration program.
At BGI we try and make business as sustainable as possible, she said. So while Im in school, Im also working to improve things at the shop. Its a great warm-up, because theres tons more things to do.
While Heyne studies new ways to make the business greener, Groman is working to promote bicycle history.
Groman started the countys first bike museum in Kingston last year, upstairs from Classic Cycles Kingston shop, and plans to more than double its size later this year.
Groman has more than 300 unique and antique bikes in his collection, including the machine used to set the world speed record in 1935.
Many of his bikes are also displayed at Bainbridge Bakers and the Harbour Public House.
With an extensive knowledge of cyclings past, Groman believes modern eco-friendly business strategies are a natural fit.
Its just normal stuff we do, he said. These are just basic things that come with the territory of being in the bicycle business.
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Green n clean
For more information about Classic Cycle, call 842-9191 or see www.kingstonclassiccycle.com.
View some of Classic Cycles recycled products at www.alchemygoods.com or www.resourcerevival.com.
For more information on the Kitsap County Health Districts EnviroStar program and how to get your business certified, see www.kitsapcountyhealth.com/environmenta_health/solid_waste/envirostars.htm