Where To Get Rid Of Sneakers And Athletic Shoes Besides The Trash
As you see, many creative ways exist to recycle running shoes and get rid of your old sneakers without throwing them out.
Yes You Can Recycle Old Shoesheres How
Have an old pair of sneakers thats finally ready to kick the bucket? Your first thought may be to chuck them out and buy a new pair. But before you kick those shoes to the curb, you can learn how to recycle shoes instead.
In 2018, 24.2 billion pairs of shoes were produced worldwide. But according to the U.S. Department of Interior, 300 million shoes are thrown away each year and thats just in the U.S. alone. Unfortunately, many shoes have soles made of Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate, which not only takes a long time to decompose, but also releases volatile organic compounds into the air while doing it. For each pair, it may take 30 to 40 years for it to decompose.
So what are you supposed to do with your shoes if you dont want to throw them away? There are actually quite a few initiatives in place for the shoes that you cant wear anymore.
What To Do With Old Running Shoes And Other Gear
Runners accumulate a lot of stuff, from running shoes and T-shirts to race bibs and medals. As much as I love to hold onto to some special running mementos, I just dont have space for piles of running clutter. Here are some ideas for where to donate running shoes or what to do with your old race T-shirts.
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Other Ways To Recycle Shoes
While the concept of recycling comes down to making something new from an older product, the term “recycled” is tossed around liberally these days. For example, not every place that says it recycles shoes is necessarily making a new product. Instead, they might be reclaiming the shoe itself and putting it back into the economy to be reused.
If your shoes aren’t completely worn out, here are some additional options for you.
How Do You Dispose Of Old Pair Of Shoes
If your shoes are beyond saving, one way to dispose of them is to avoid the common three-bin residential waste collection, and simply aim for the trash. I know, it’s hard for me to even write this.
If you live in Calgary, you may be able to drop them off at one of the city’s Throw ‘N’ Go bins, but I advise you to first assess whether they will accept them or not. No matter how hard we try, there are times when there’s not much that can be done, and that’s okay. The important thing is that we first try as many eco-alternatives as possible!
Bonus tip: To prevent your shoes from reaching the maximum state of decomposition, consider taking care of them as much as possible. Store them in a well-ventilated place, dry them thoroughly if they got wet, wash them as soon as possible if you soaked them in a puddle of dirty water, clean them with the right products for each material, dont leave them sitting in the sun for days, and if they start to smell a bit bad, put an unused black tea bag in each shoe and leave them there for a few days. Believe me, giving a little love to your shoes is more than enough.
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Here Are 6 Brands That Will Recycle Your Kicks
Currently, 85 percent of textiles are not recycled, with the average person throwing away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually.
In general, recycling shoes is a complex process and depending on the materials in the shoe it might not be possible. Footwear is difficult to recycle because most shoes are made using multiple, mixed materials which are often stitched or glued together, says Shaye DiPasquale a publicist for the recycler TerraCycle.
There is not a lot of physical recycling of footwear that goes on, says Eric Stubin, president of Trans-Americas Textile Recycling. The majority of recycled shoes and clothes are shipped places to be reused. Stubins company processes about 10 million pounds of post-consumer textile waste from clothing, shoes, and accessories every year.
In general, when clothing is recycled it tends to go to one of these four different end destinations:
Because of the concept, On was awarded the 2021 ISPO Product of the Year as well as a Sustainability Achievement award.
Can You Put Shoes In The Recycling Bin
Dropping your shoes in the recycle bin is only a good idea if you have double-checked two things. One, that the shoes were manufactured from a single material, and two, that your local recycling facility accepts them.
If your shoes are made from only a single recyclable plastic or a natural material like cotton, hemp, or wool, you’re good to go. This takes the messy mix of multiple materials out of the equation and makes it more likely that your local recycling facility will accept them. However, I’ll say it again: verify if they will accept them! Give them a call or stop by their headquarters, check all boxes before you put them in your recycling bin.
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Local Programs That Reuse Running Shoes
Runners Roost stores, throughout the Denver area, receive nearly 5,000 shoes donated annually. Their 10 storefronts have provided a used footwear drop-off for at least 12 years, estimates Kent Wories, the general manager of Runners Roost. The grassroots program has evolved over time, based on the needs of partner organizations such as the Denver Rescue Mission, Wounded Warrior Project, and the Catholic Charities of Denver, which select and funnel the footwear to people in need.
The shape of the donated shoes runs the full gamut from you can hardly tell it was used to pretty beat up. Close to half of the shoes are definitely in good reusable condition, says Wories. Footwear that needs refurbishment before being donated for reuse goes to Soles4Souls, while others go to One World Running.
Other run retailers nationwide collect footwear for similar nonprofit efforts. Charm City Run, which has six retail locations around Maryland and organizes nearly 100 annual endurance events, launched the Live. Give. Run. Foundation, in 2020, a nonprofit that channels footwear donations to folks in need.
Philadelphia Runner, in Pennsylvania, hosts shoe drive fundraisers to provide gently used and new footwear to Sneakers4Funds, a program that serves athletic communities across the nation, which kicks back a check for the fundraiser cause in exchange for the goods.
How To Get Rid Of Old Running Shoes
There are a few different options for getting rid of old running shoes. You can donate them, recycle them, or upcycle them.
Donating is a great option if your shoes are still in good condition. There are many organizations that accept donations of gently used shoes, such as soles4souls. Recycling is another good option for getting rid of old shoes. This can be done through a local recycling center or through a company like Nikes Reuse-A-Shoe program.
If you want to get creative, you can also upcycle your old shoes. This means repurposing them into something new, such as a planter or a keychain. For more ideas on how to upcycle old shoes, check out this list of 50 creative ideas.
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Donate Adult And Youth Running/sport Shoes For Recycling And Youth Giving Back Program
Our Youth Giving Back is part of the life skills program and encourages youth to give back to their communities. We ask our running program youth to help in collecting and distributing the shoes to men and women who are in need. You can partner with us just by donating your running shoes.
We accept your used and of course new running shoes, rubber soccer and baseball cleats at our drop off locations listed below. New unsalable shoes are utilized in our youth programs along with any new shoes donated.
Recycled Shoes Program
We are an environmentally conscious organization that wants to help keep old running shoes out of the landfills. Our running shoe recycling program allows you to drop off your old worn out and even dirty running shoes at one of our shoe donation locations. We then send them out to an environmentally friendly company that grinds the shoes up and uses the product for playground surface material and some may even be used for running tracks. The funds that we receive from the recycled running shoes program helps us to purchase supplies for our youth running programs.
We ask that you please tie each pair together to help us in the sorting process.
The Future Of Footwear
Plastic waste is a problem, and now more than ever, companies are becoming aware of how they produce apparel and products like running shoes. adidas has Primeblue products which use Parley Ocean Plasticmade using plastic waste intercepted from coastal areas. And adidas isnt the only company paying attention to this issue. Do some research before you buy your next pair of running shoes to make sure theyre produced responsibly.
Are you passionate about the fight against plastic waste? Join us during Run For The Oceans and dedicate your cardio to a great cause! Check out the challenge in the adidas Running app.
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Faqs About Old Running Shoes
Below are some frequently asked questions about what to do with old running shoes.
What are the best ways to dispose of old running shoes?The best way to dispose of old running shoes is to either recycle them or donate them to a charity. Recycling involves breaking down the shoes into their component parts and using them to make new products, such as carpet padding or soccer fields. Donating old shoes to a charity provides them to people in need, such as the homeless or those living in developing countries.
Why cant I just throw my old shoes in the trash?Throwing old shoes in the trash is not a good idea because they will end up in a landfill. Landfills are already full of trash, and adding more rubbish to them will only make the problem worse. In addition, it can be difficult to decompose shoes since they are made of synthetic materials. As a result, they could release harmful chemicals into the environment if they are not disposed of properly.
What happens if I dont dispose of my old running shoes properly?If you dont dispose of your old running shoes properly, they could end up in a landfill where they will take up space and release harmful chemicals into the environment. In addition, if you throw your shoes in the trash, someone could step on them and get hurt.
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Fundraiser Programraise Funds For A Cause
Is your school or non-profit looking for a new fundraiser idea that is easy and supports a good cause? Maybe your gym or run club has a group of people that would donate old sneakers? Why not host a sneaker drive fundraiser? Sign up to receive a FREE fundraiser kit and get started with your campaign!
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Where To Recycle Old Running Shoes
Does anyone know where to recycle old running shoes? Preferably by union square. I tried Nike by flatiron but they said they stopped during the pandemic. Paragon was a no-go as well.
Jack Rabbit/Fleet Feet accepts old running shoes.
This is what I ended up doing, thanks
In case anyone is searching for the same thing, this program has been discontinued .
I never thought of donating used running shoes so thanks for this resource.
On the site they say gently used. Any idea what that means? I put about 500 miles on my shoes before retiring them. I didnt see an FAQ on the site.
If They Can’t Be Saved See If They Can Get New Life In Another Form
If your shoes are truly beat and you can’t fathom another person loving them a good rule of thumb is that if the uppers are still in good condition, the shoe can have a second life toss them into a recycling bin instead of the trash. Footwear recycling is not nearly as common as clothes recycling , because shoes are more complex. However, there area handful of programs attempting it. And the options are expected to grow in the next few years.
Nike’s Reuse a Shoe program, running since 1993, recycles worn out sneakers by any brand. They’ve processed 33 million pairs of shoes to date. After separating the shoes into leather, foam, plastic and rubber, the pieces are ground down and reused as surfacing for playgrounds, track tops, carpet padding and even new Nike gear, like maybe the soles of your Air Jordans. You can get in on the action by dropping your shoes at participating Nike and Converse Factory stores .
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You can also take beat-up shoes by anybrand to Columbia stores and participating Asics stores . These in-store take back programs are run by I:CO, a global waste handler whose parent company opened the world’s first industrial-scale shoe recycling facility in 2018, which is working to find solutions for any kind of shoe waste, according to a company rep via email. Recently I:CO partnered with Adidas to turn bits of rubber from running shoes into rugs, for example.
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Is It Worth Donating Old Shoes
Donating shoes is 100% worth it! Your shoes will go to someone who will need them the most and, trust me, you’ll feel great about it. You probably already thought about doing this since not every shoe you have in your closet has been terribly worn out, there are some that just need a good wash and that’s about it. That’s when they become someone else’s treasure!
“But where can I donate my shoes?” you may ask. Good news for shoe lovers: there are many places across Canada that accept shoe donations!
One of them is Shoe Bank Canada, a non-profit social enterprise that has a clear mission: to ensure that every Canadian has access to a decent pair of shoes.
The best thing about them is that they promote two types of donations: the standard ones, in which you simply collect the shoes you have at home and take them to one of their drop-off locations, and other ones they call “shoe drive“. If you want to host a shoe drive, it basically consists of asking your community to collect gently worn, used, and new of all types and sizes, gathering them, and delivering or shipping them to one of the Shoe Bank Canada drop-off locations. Just like they state on their website, it’s a fun and simple way to engage your team or organization to give back and make a difference.
Another excellent non-profit for donating shoes is Soles4Souls, one that is so transparent that you can even meet their team and find out how they manage their finances by just clicking on their website!
Recycle Old Running Shoes
Another option is to recycle your old running shoes. However, this is a complicated topic. Footwear is made of many different parts and these are usually stitched or glued. So, it is not that easy or practical to recycle old running shoes.
Its also worth noting that you should resist simply throwing your old running footwear in the bin. If the shoes end in landfill they will take a very long time to decompose. Worse still, they may leach plasticisers, heavy metals and other toxic chemicals, which are all bad for the environment.
This is why most recycled shoes and clothes are sent to places to be reused.
It’s worth considering the fact that a running shoe that seems worn out to you, doesn’t necessarily mean its worn out to someone else.
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Terracycles Shoes And Footwear Zero Waste Box
The recycling geniuses at TerraCycle offer a Shoes and Footwear Zero Waste Box, which you can use to recycle pretty much any type of shoe in any condition, with the exception of ski boots and skates. TerraCycle will reuse, upcycle, and recycle the shoes, making sure they stay far away from landfills. Boxes start at $129 so even though it is a bit pricey, its a solid option for people who have the money to support a business like TerraCycle or dont have access to any free shoe recycling programs.