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  • Writer's pictureFabiana Kubler-Pietri

Recycle your Sneakers!

I took my kids on Saturday to a skateboard park and saw this big clear box filled with used shoes behind the counter. It was half full of used sneakers and it said "Recycle your Sneakers here". I thought it was cool so I did a little research and loved what I found.

It is a Miami based project in which they collect gently used sneakers and sell them at a "fraction of the cost to small businesses in developing countries". This way they give new life to those sneakers which would have otherwise ended up in landfills. It is more of a "re-use" than actual "recycle" process but I found it great since it extends the life of the "shoe" while creating job opportunities hence even contributing to the economy.

In a video on their instagram account they explain they are a not a charity but a for-profit social enterprise, and that if you do know of a charity that actually donates the shoes to underprivileged people, go ahead and use that as your first option.

They also state that 87% of Americans throw away their sneakers which ends up sitting in landfills for 20plus years.

Another cool fact is that they sort the sneakers to send them out in containers but if the shoe is unwearable they send it to a factory here in Florida that uses waste as energy. The company is called Waste Innovations and they contribute to Florida's energy management.

Oh, and if you are curious about the skate park its called SkateBird. It is very family friendly, they offer classes on the weekend which you should book in advance and they also have a cafeteria and restrooms.


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