TERRE HAUTE —
Don’t pitch those old tennis shoes in the trash — recycle them.
That’s the message from TREES Inc., a Terre Haute-based environmental organization preparing for a major athletic shoe recycling drive in honor of Earth Day 2012.
“There are lots of good things they can be used for,” said Joy Sacopulos, a member of the TREES Earth Day committee. Old athletic shoes can be donated to charities, such as Goodwill or Catholic Charities, or recycled into things such as running tracks and indoor play areas for kids, she said.
TREES volunteers will be accepting old athletic shoes in the Indiana State University parking lot at Ninth and Chestnut streets from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 12. The shoes will be donated to local charities or ground up for their rubber, Sacopulos said.
“We’d like to get people thinking that you can recycle almost anything,” she said.
TREES is also setting up drop-off locations around town for old athletic shoes in the month of May. Drop off barrels will be set up the final two weeks of the school year at ISU and Rose-Hulman. There will also be a barrel in the lobby of the Vigo County Public Library the entire month of May.
After the drive is over, Sacopulos noted that old athletic shoes can be donated to Goodwill, which accepts old shoes of all kinds year round.
“If they are still in serviceable condition, we sell them in one of our eight Goodwill stores,” said Bill Tennis, executive director of Goodwill Industries of the Wabash Valley. The money raised will help provide jobs for Goodwill’s employees, he said. Old shoes can also be sent overseas to provide shoes for individuals in less developed countries where any sort of shoe is an improvement over no shoes at all, he said.
“A lot of this product would end up in Third World,” Tennis said. “A shoe in disrepair is better than no shoe … It’s rare that we would ever send a shoe to a landfill.”
Only athletic shoes containing metal decorations will not be accepted by the TREES athletic shoe drive. If the metal is removed, TREES can accept the shoes. The organization also asks that the shoes be dry and without large amounts of mud or dirt when donated and also be tied together. They also ask that “flip-flops” not be donated.
TREES Inc. is a not-for-profit environmental volunteer group started in 1999 to encourage the planting of trees in the community. Members of the TREES Inc. Earth Day Committee this year are Sacopulos, Judy Hogan, Jane Santucci and Jane Morse.
Arthur Foulkes can be reached at (812) 231-4232 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Group preparing for major athletic shoe recycling drive
TERRE HAUTE —
Don’t pitch those old tennis shoes in the trash — recycle them.
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