Activate Your Premium Membership Today >

Sweden Recycles 80-100% of Their Bikes; Should We?

EU Considers Adding Motorcycles to ‘End-of-Life’ Recycling Program

A biker with a biohazard sign on their hoodie. Media sourced from Rare Gallery.
A biker with a biohazard sign on their hoodie. Media sourced from Rare Gallery.

When it comes to cleaning up the motorcycling industry, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. 

Some brands choose to invest in alternative fuel choices or devote hours in the lab figuring out things like paper-based fairings, while others believe an electric future is the way to go.

Still, there’s a whole chapter in a motorbike’s ‘cycle’ of life that many countries have yet to take on: 

Recycling scrapped motorcycles.

A dude working on a bike. Media sourced from Service Honda.
A dude working on a bike. Media sourced from Service Honda.

We don’t just mean reclaiming the bike’s battery (though that effort certainly has its own merit) or taking your favourite parts to put into a cool one-off custom build, leaving the rest in the scrap yard.

By recycling, we mean doing something with the whole dang bike – and as usual, Sweden’s beaten everyone to the punch.

The repurposing giant has 80-100% of the scrapped motorcycle disassembled, with certain components resold to clients, “while the rest are recycled within current recycling guidelines for plastics, liquids and metal.”

A wrench either about to be applied to a bike or having just been previously applied to a bike. Media sourced from FEMA.
A wrench either about to be applied to a bike or having just been previously applied to a bike. Media sourced from FEMA.

According to a report from VisorDown, the European Commission could end up tackling at least a few of those techniques in their upcoming End-of-Life Vehicles Directive, should they decide to include motorcycles.

There’s a catch, though; with the new directive would come tighter laws on how you can get rid of your bike – a change that SMC and FEMA are worried might discourage people from recycling altogether.

Their suggestion to the puzzle? 

Let the rider take apart their bike on their own terms…and exclude “historical motorcycles and those which are of value to collectors or are intended for museums.”

two blokes pushing a bike...nothing to see here. Media sourced from The Guardian.
two blokes pushing a bike…nothing to see here. Media sourced from The Guardian.

“FEMA wants the EU Commission to consider ensuring ‘that the possibility of controlled in-house demolition remains possible,’…‘either by including it in the Directive, or by allowing Member States to make their own rules and regulations for in-house demolition’,” states the report. 

What do you think?

A bike being disassembled. Media sourced from AliWheels.
A bike being disassembled. Media sourced from AliWheels.

What current recycling laws are in place in your country, and how do you feel those rules can be improved?

Touch base down below to get the conversation started, subscribe for further updates on everything coming down the pipeline, and as always – stay safe on the twisties. 

*Media sourced from FEMA, AliWheels, Service Honda and The Guardian*