Christmas tree pedals back to life

Lismore City Council’s iconic recycled bike Christmas tree is back by popular demand and was unveiled in the CBD this morning.

Originally created in 2015 as Council’s first recycled Christmas tree, it returns this year with fresh coat of paint and some minor changes despite the challenges Council staff faced due to COVD-19 restrictions and lockdowns.

The tree is made entirely from old bikes from the Revolve Shop with more than 90 bikes welded together, 50 litres of white paint and almost half a tonne of steel.

This is the seventh tree Council staff have erected on the corner of Keen and Magellan streets to celebrate the festive season and Lismore’s commitment to recycling and sustainability.

In what has become an annual event, it was Council staff first gift to the community and attracted national attention when it was installed.

Staff create the tree in their own time after work and raise funds to pay for any materials.

Council staff member Cheryl, who is the driving force behind this year’s refurbished tree, said staff were determined to keep the recycling Christmas spirit and bring back the popular bike tree.

“With COVID restrictions making time to work on the tree was difficult this year, so we thought it was the perfect opportunity to recycle the iconic bike tree,” she said.

“As the tree was already constructed, we gave it a fresh white coat of paint, however, accessing the tree to paint different colours was impossible. We got creative and used the splatter paint technique, which was a bit of fun and a fast way to get some colour on it.”

“This year has been challenging for our entire community and we feel that the tree symbolises the colour and vibrancy that is returning to our day-to-day lives.”

“Council staff are proud to be part of the Lismore community and we want to give back and help make our city an even better place to live, work and raise a family.

“We hope that it can spread some joy, kindness and love at this time of year. Merry Christmas Lismore.”

In 2016 staff made the tree from old car tyres and in 2017 it was fashioned from old road signs with an impressive ‘Give Way’ star. In 2018, the tree was constructed of 49 second-hand umbrellas to create a very colourful and much talked about tree. In 2019 it was the Living Christmas Tree with more than 300 potted plants, and last year it was made from recycled 25-litre drums which were used as a gesture of respect to our rural community.

Surrounding the tree this year are two banners that promote the Lismore Resource Recovery and Residual Waste Strategy 2022 to 2032, which focuses on the circular economy principles of recycling local waste and reusing them in our community.

Lismore City Council Business Manager of Commercial Services Kevin Trustum said reintroducing the bike tree comes at a time that Council is also promoting the benefits of the circular economy.

“Council has recently released its draft Resource Recovery and Residual Waste Strategy that will see Lismore and its Villages transition to a circular economy which focuses on recycling local waste and reusing them in our own community,” he said.

“This ambitious strategy will see Council work the with community, business and industry to ‘keep materials coming around’ the local economy, encouraging innovation, economic development and creating jobs. The recycled tree is a reminder of what can be achieved by recycling waste and reusing it within our own community.”

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