MAASTRICHT. Old or broken bicycles that have been abandoned around the city or in the backyard of a student house – weesfietsen, in Dutch – are getting a new life thanks to Jules & You, a student services company in Maastricht. They initiated the project in cooperation with TransferWerkt, which helps jobseekers who are short on qualifications, have problems finding jobs due to disability or have been jobless for some time. TransferWerkt will be responsible for restoring and repainting the bikes. Each bike will then be sold for €70.
According to Jules & You owner Karin van der Ven, “Many students, especially international ones, are looking for a bike as soon as they arrive. On the other hand we see lots of broken bikes just lying around, as rubbish in the city. It’s a pity.”
Jules & You hopes to collect about 600 bicycles a year; last week they collected 20 during their first bike pick-up day, says Van der Ven. The next pick-up day will be on 17 January. Anyone who wants to get rid of a bike – even if it’s in perfect condition – is invited to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to bring it in person to Jules & You in the Bouillonstraat in exchange for €15.