How Shoes of Different Qualities Are Reused or Recycled

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, Americans throw out 300 million pairs of shoes every year. Unfortunately, shoes take three decades to decompose in landfills. On top of that, some of the shoes that are thrown out still have quite a bit of wear in them.

GotSneakers offers a solution that can help the environment and support less-fortunate communities: reusing and recycling used or unwanted athletic shoes.

Give Your Old Soles New Life

Athletic shoes that don’t have any material separation or holes in them still have enough use to be worn by others. Maybe you or your kids have simply outgrown the athletic shoes in your closets. Perhaps you’ve purchased athletic shoes that you never got around to wearing. Rather than throw them out, you can give them away for someone else to wear.

In particular, athletic sneakers and sports cleats can go through a lot before they fall apart. Some examples include basketball, running, skateboard and walking sneakers. Even casual sneakers can last a long time. Additionally, some nonathletic footwear can get more use before you throw them away. Flats, heels, sandals, slippers, and boots are a few examples.

When you give your reusable athletic shoes to GotSneakers, they’re sorted according to condition, size, and style. Then, they’re packed for distribution across the globe.

Recycle Old Shoes into New Products

When you think about the items that you regularly recycle, shoes might not be one of them. You may think that your used, unwearable athletic shoes are too gross to be worth recycling. However, they’re made of a variety of materials that can be broken down, processed and recycled into new products.

In general, unwearable, recyclable athletic shoes have rips, holes or tears in the material, and the soles could be separating from the upper vamp. These issues compromise the integrity of the athletic shoes, which makes them unwearable. Despite that, the materials aren’t entirely useless.

Instead of throwing them away, you can send them to GotSneakers to be recycled. The athletic shoes are stripped apart, and the materials are separated for reuse. For instance, the outsole’s ground rubber can be used for baseball, football and soccer fields. The midsole’s ground foam can be used to resurface basketball and tennis courts as well as playgrounds. The upper fabric can be used to pad the underneath side of hardwood flooring.

Fortunately, GotSneakers makes reusing and recycling your old sneakers fun with fundraisers. By participating, you help keep sneakers out of landfills!


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