Reuse Repurpose and Recycle
Today's motors replaced under warranty are being dumped – we believe this must change. Rather than being dumped, these motors need to be either repaired and reused… or recycled.
There are several steps to better understand the overall recycling process… what components can and cannot be recycled, and identifying the individual recyclable metals. A national “motor return/trade-in” program needs to be developed to incentivise both eBike owners and Bike Shops to return discarded eBike motors to an approved “Recycler”… to ensure the maximum number of motors are recycled, and the minimum are improperly dumped.
There are 3 distinct streams with which the motor disposal can be channelled – Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle. Recycling being the least acceptable today, with Reuse and Repurposing being the best environmental outcome and one that new government policies are preferencing to push manufacturers to develop methods by which their products can be repaired for reuse (like the old days). The objective of all this policy is to eliminate materials from disposal to landfills… a common and united corporate ambition today. There is a cost to Reuse and Repurposing… there is an investment in labour to firstly make a judgement as to whether parts are able to be salvaged or recycled, and to complete the Reuse & Repurpose process for each motor. eBike motor manufacturers would save on logistics and transport costs, with some motor parts being repurposed away from landfills and possibly back to customers to reuse in refurbished motors. Of course, this process would be a documented one, and one that procedures could be easily developed for, i.e. reuse by a certified repairer of eBike motors, repurposed parts identification and documenting the component volume that would be recycled… with evidence of its "destruction".
We believe the best way forward is for eBike motor manufacturers to redirect all failed motors to a specialist eBike Motor Repairer.
Advantages: maximise recycle process, minimise unnecessary new part manufacture. Product is disposed of to a company with the expertise to disassemble and separate components for metal recycling, e-recycling and with the capability of component reuse (eg. crankshafts, drive gears), resulting in minimal cost to the environment and revenue return on recycled metals/e-recycling. Additionally, a reduction or the elimination of the eBike motor black market and the current improper disposal of discarded motors.
Disadvantages: some loss of revenue in new motor sales, with replacement or refurbished parts being reused.