Given the potentially catastrophic toxic sludge flood in Hungary I was wondering where most of the aluminum for bikes comes from. Are there companies that give consideration to sourcing aluminum from suppliers with good environmental records?
I definitely agree with Zorba, aluminum sourcing is one of the most energy consuming processes there is. To close your eyes on the reality behind our toys is kind of ignorant. But, some people like to be and stay ignorant
Reality is, publicly traded companies are purely driven by profit for the share holders. If an aluminium refinery can get away with doing the bare minimum required by law (sometimes less), then they will, even if they know they are on the edge of a disaster.
E.G. recent BP blowout, Free Port mine, Pipa Alpha.
As far as I know, with regards to bikes, Chris King is the only company I can think of that touts an environmental consciousness. Be aware that carbon fibre and resin manufacture is very much a polluting process.
Edit. Those poor bastards in Hungary, because the inspector didn't do his job or the design was inadequate. Apparently it was inspected a couple of weeks before=he likely got paid off or was ignorant.
Mining dams blow all the time. We had a disaster a few years ago just a few miles away from my house.... in Aznalcollar, it was a huge disaster and it's really expensive to fix the land, the mining company is trying to avoid the payment...
Interesting the hate in this thread for even asking the question. I certainly would support a company that considered the source of their raw material. This is one of the reasons I've bought King headsets before.
The argument that airplanes and cars use way more so it's ok not to worry about bikes is a funny one - one worth looking into. It may be quite shocking how much aluminum the bike industry does consume. Regardless, we're all a part of the machine and have a part to play.
Perhaps if a good carbon recycling process is developed that's the way to go.
Remediation of the Chernobyl disaster decades after the fact does nothing for the areas (people, wildlife, plants) during the event and for years to come. Genetic damage cannot be cleaned up and its problems can take a long time to manifest.
The same goes for oil spills (especially for BP with the untested dispersant). You can still find oil in the environment from the Ixtoc and Valdez even years after the fact. Its not possible/cost effective to completely clean up the spills.
There is NO WAY that directly effected area in there can be somehow de-contaminated! And that it wasn't enough, the toxic ****s are going to contaminate all underground reservoirs of water in few hundreds of KMs along the river Danube. The winter, which is mostly rainy in Hungary, is going to come in 2 months. The devastation and impact on DNA and RNA will spread among several countries, not only Hungary.
I wouldn't say the problem is in material. Isn't it the man who always makes "mistake"?
If we could only grow carbon fibre bamboo hemp...seriously though, maybe bike companies (or someone) could offer old frame recycling incentives when buying new bikes? Guess it all comes down to $ in the end...
Steels better anyway. Buy steel frames. Simple.
I personally collect and recycle well over my bikes weight in ally and steel each year from the bush.
My car runs on LPG, my girls Deisel. Ideally here in Oz, I'd use natural gas, and am looking into it. Electric cars will be so rad, but the batteries still suck, and it's expensive to convert your car, and I know as soon as I do, some company will bring out a cheap one that's better.
yep, I actually had that in my original post but edited it out. The guys from MIT came in and pitched their technology to my group at work about 6 month ago. Pretty impressive. I really like the net shape preforms. They would be good for a small frame builder. hint to all those out there.
Anyway, they use post consumer bicycle parts as part of their feedstock.