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Shoe Charity Encourages Manufacturers, Employees to Recycle Safety Footwear

NewsID:283    Datetime:2011-02-18

Many safety shoes that are discarded can be cleaned and donated, and other shoes thrown out are brand new. Instead of discarding these shoes, they can be recycled to prevent waste and provide someone in need with a pair of shoes.Cooke says that manufacturers began introducing cheaper components into the footwear industry and this increased the safety risk of workers using the footwear.


“Thousands of employees are required to wear footwear that meets standards set up by [OSHA]," said Wayne Elsey, founder and CEO of Soles4Souls. "Instead of throwing away shoes because they no longer fulfill OSHA requirements, people can donate them to us. These shoes would be very useful to someone else.”

According to Elsey, Soles4Souls works to reduce the number of shoes that are filling up American landfills. An estimated 300 million pairs of shoes are discarded every year in the United States alone. “Safety wear is often a ‘grudge spend’ for companies because it does not add to pro- ductivity. It has to be purchased to protect workers and because it is required by legis- lation,” says Cooke.Elsey said that if these shoes were lined up heel to toe, they would stretch from Los Angeles to New York and back over 20 times.

By donating their gently worn shoes, people will reduce their environmental footprint while providing a charitable service at the same time at the same time.

"Not only can people feel good about helping the environment," added Elsey, "but they can feel good about helping less fortunate people through the gift of shoes."

Soles4Souls works with thousands of corporations and organizations in an effort to recycle, reduce and reuse municipal waste for the benefit of the environment. Soles4Souls provides collection boxes and flyers for companies where employees are required to wear safety footwear. The shipping costs for sending safety shoes to Soles4Souls warehouses is tax-deductible. “We want to make them look good and feel comfortable to ensure there is an incentive to wear them rather than [a reason] to take them off,” he concludes.

 

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