I have been working with an outfit called Cycle It Forward for several years now. The group (about 10 active members) collects used bikes and "rehabs" them for use by the "indigent" members of our community.
The bikes are sorted, and those that are in reasonable condition are rehabbed -- cleaned up, tire patched, wheels trued, chains lubed, reflectors replaced. (At least one of the front/rear reflectors is missing about 50% of the time.) The kids' bikes are given away at Christmas by Christmas Anonymous, while the adult bikes are given to adults who need them throughout the year, by way of the county social services workers.
An occasional expensive bike in good condition is sold to provide operating funds, and bikes whose condition is too poor for rehab are stripped of usable parts, have their wheels removed, and sent to a recycler as steel scrap (the wheels being sold separately at a much lower value). We probably could make a little more by separating out the aluminum scrap and selling that separately, but it would be a lot of work and bother.
This year we rehabbed about 350 bikes, in a community of around 150,000, and probably recycled about the same number. We could easily get double the donations, if we had the storage and processing capacity.