Re: [GRRN] shoe waste prevention

Myra Nissen (
Sun, 28 Nov 1999 12:41:34 -0700

I agree with Rhonda. A waste prevention approach seems to be the
solution. Here are some startling figures about the incerease of the
types of articles disposed of as waste (footware included item 4)
between 1972 & 1987:

The amount of solid waste disposed of between 1972 and 1987 increased by
28%. A look at the categories of solid waste gives a good indication
about todayís life style: (1) yard waste increased 34%, (2) home
furnishings grew 80%, (3) major appliances rose 74% (4.5 times faster
than the population), (4) discarded clothing and footwear grew 260%, (5)
office paper increased 87%, and (6) writing and printing paper increased
150%. The tonnage of books disposed of grew 24%, or 50% faster than the
population. Technical books alone increased 211%. Magazine tonnage grew
38%, while catalogues, brochures, and direct mail solicitations (junk
mail) increased 133%.

from Tom Rattray. 1993. Demographics & Discards: Why thereís more
garbage, and why packaging isnít the culprit. (In) Garbage: The
Practical Journal for the Environment. Dovetail Publishers, Gloucestor,
Massachusetts. IV(6)27:28. (December/January.)

Myra Nissen
The Sutta Co.

> Regarding Cortney Cable's request for advise on how to
> divert her shoes from the waste stream each year, I
> concur with the writer who suggested donating them
> to Goodwill and other service organizations. However,
> I would also encourage you to examine the waste
> prevention aspect. Why do you need to throw away
> numerous pairs of shoes every year? Are you buying cheap
> shoes that fall apart quickly? Are you buying shoes that
> go out of style annually? A well-made pair of shoes
> can last twenty years or more, and the sole can be
> replaced several times if it wears out.
> Cortney Cable wrote:
> I am interested in recycling shoes. Does anybody have any information or
> know who I could contact to find out about doing this? I have numerous
> pairs
> of shoes that I throw away each year and I would like to stop doing
> this.
> Any thoughts or ideas would be helpful.
> --
> Rhonda L. Sherman <>
> Extension Solid Waste Specialist
> Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department
> N. C. State University, Box 7625
> Raleigh, NC 27695-7625
> Phone 919/515-6770; Fax 919/515-6772