Pedal person on bike
Ali Wilson-Pierce, a Pedal Person from 2010-2016. Photo: Courtesy of Pedal People.

In Northampton, Massachusetts, it’s not unusual to see a cyclist hauling a trailer full of recycling, trash, or compost.

Clegg: “We don’t have municipal trash or recycling pickup so people either bring it themselves, or hire big trash trucks or they hire us!”

'People either bring it themselves, or hire big trash trucks or they hire us!' Click To Tweet

That’s Ellen Clegg, one of about 15 worker-owners with the Pedal People Cooperative.

Pedal People averages over 500 bike-powered trash pickups a week. They also offer other emission-free services, like grocery delivery and moving help.

And, they offer yard care – but instead of gas mowers and leaf blowers, they use old fashioned push mowers, rakes, and scythes. And, of course, they get to you by bike.

Pedal People has been in business for 15 years, and in that time, Clegg thinks it set an example that helped expand Northampton’s bike culture.

Clegg: “There are many more people who now are … using more bikes in general and … people beginning to use smaller trailers and haul things themselves.”

It can be hard work. But Clegg says it’s worth it to help cut down on carbon pollution for the community and for the world.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.

Justyna Bicz is a Climate Connections contributor based in Chicago.

Topics: Transportation