Wed October 5, 2011

Tell Toledo

1,318 Shoes Given New Life through Owens Local Child’s Drive

Originally published October 5, 2011 by Tell Toledo

Owens Community College's Environmental Club is raising environmental awareness by bringing new life to used shoes previously destined for overcrowded landfills. As a result of the student group's recent collection drive efforts on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, 1,318 shoes will soon find their way to USAgain and future use in the form of playgrounds, running tracks and tennis courts.

The Environmental Club recently presented the donated shoes to Eisenhower Middle School sixth grader Erek Hansen of Curtice to assist in his personal goal of promoting environmental conservation and awareness.

"It is really great that all of these donated shoes will be put to a good use," said Hannah Jacobs of Luckey, Owens student and Environmental Club Vice President. "Personally, I know that I had several pairs of shoes that were not being used and just collecting dust at home. It is very rewarding to know my shoes and the donations of many others will not end up in a landfill."

"Thank you to Owens Community College and the community in helping to save our planet," said an appreciative Hansen. "These shoes are going to a good cause."

The recent Owens shoe collection drive initiative is part of a nationwide effort with USAgain. Founded in 1999, the environmental organization is committed to providing consumers with a convenient and eco-friendly option to rid themselves of excess clothing, which is then diverted from landfills for recycling or resale in the United States as well as abroad. USAgain operates over 10,000 collection bins in 15 states. In 2010 alone, the organization collected over 56 million pounds of discarded clothing.

All types of shoes were accepted as part of the collection drive. Donated shoes will either be reused or processed and recycled into material used in synthetic turf, playgrounds, running tracks, tennis courts, rubber mats and filling for car insulation.