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U of M collecting, donating bikes abandoned on its campus

Abandoned bike
University of Michigan Ground Services
Abandoned bike

University of Michigan staff have finished tagging and cataloging all the abandoned bicycles on the school’s campus.

It’s an annual project U of M has done every spring since 2016.

Bikes are tagged but left in place until May 15. After that, they are impounded, and their owners have until October to claim them.

All of the unclaimed bikes are then given to a partner organization that refurbishes them and donates them to schools across the state.

Alex Sulzer is the construction project manager for U of M’s Grounds Services. He says he doesn’t know why so many students abandon their bikes, but he offers one possible reason.

“We have a very high incident around the dormitories, and I think quite honestly a lot of kids come to college, get a bike, think they’re going to ride a bike, never do, and then end up just leaving it."

Sulzer says they’ve collected and donated nearly three thousand bicycles since the program started, and only ever had around a dozen people ask for their bike back once it’s been impounded.

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Taylor Pinson is a former WEMU news reporter and engineer.
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