Are Shoes Recycled Or Trash?

  • By: greenorb
  • Date: August 26, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

As much as you hate to throw them out, these shoes have got to go! But are shoes recycled or trash?

You should put your shoes in your general waste bin because most recycling centers do not have the technology to separate the various materials that shoes are made up of. Very few dedicated shoe recycling centers exist. 

Are you looking for the best way to get rid of old shoes? Then make sure you check out the following section of this article where you will find the best tips for getting rid of old shoes. 

How Do I Get Rid of Shoes?

Shoes come in and out of fashion and to avoid clutter, we tend to throw away the shoes that we know we will never use. 

Shoes also, like clothing, get worn to the point where we have no choice but to throw them away (no matter how attached we were to them). 

But how should you get rid of your shoes? Should you recycle them?

You should get rid of shoes by putting them in your general waste bin. 

Most recycling centers will not accept shoes as they are made up of various materials and it is very difficult to separate them. Most shoes, unfortunately, end up in a landfill. 

There are very few shoe recycling centers out there that will accept shoes. 

The only way you could recycle your shoes is if they are made up of just one material. For example, if you have a pair of genuine leather boots, you could put them in your recycling bin. 

Before you do, you would have to separate the bottom of the shoe from the leather and throw the base into your general waste bin. 

You could use a Stanley knife to do this.

What Do You Do With Used Shoes?

What Do You Do With Used Shoes?

To get rid of used shoes, you should throw them in your general waste bin. 

You cannot recycle shoes because they are made of too many materials that are complicated for recycling centers to separate. 

Shoes are normally made up of a number of synthetic materials so they cannot biodegrade. They do not decompose and should not be left on a compost heap.

But what if throwing your shoes into the general waste bin is not what you want to do to get rid of them? Then, take a look at the following tips that will give you some alternative ideas to throwing them away. 

  • Mend your shoes. Scuffed shoes can be polished and brought back to life. Shoes with worn heels can also be healed. Old tatty shoe laces can be replaced. Before you throw your shoes away, see if there is something you can do to restore and continue using them.
  • Sell your shoes on an auction website. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Your old shoes might be just what someone is looking to buy. If the shoes are still in good condition, you might get a couple of dollars for them. 
  • Hand your shoes down. You can hand shoes down to someone else that might need them. Giving old shoes to large families might be a big help to those in your local community. 
  • Give the shoes to a charitable organization. Shoes that are in good condition are accepted by most charities. Simply take the shoes down there next time you are passing. That way, someone else will be able to get a couple of extra miles out of them and save themselves some money.
  • Upcycle the shoes. There are plenty of shoe upcycling ideas out there that we are sure you will love. Take a look at some of the quirkiest ideas in this video

Can Old Shoes Be Recycled?

Throwing old shoes into the trash may seem like a bit of a waste. After all, you paid good money for them and they served you well. 

But is there anything you can do to stop your shoes from ending up in a landfill? Can old shoes be recycled?

You cannot put old shoes in your recycling waste because most recycling centers will not accept them. To ensure that your shoes are recycled, you must take them to a dedicated shoe recycling center. 

But, unfortunately, these are few and far between. In most instances, you will have to put your shoes in your general waste bin. 

What if you have some shoes that are made of only one material? You might have some genuine leather shoes for example. 

Then, you could separate the base of the shoe from the leather and then recycle it. 

The base of the shoe, however, would still be destined for your general waste bin. 

What Can I Do With Shoes I Don’t Want?

Do you want to get rid of a couple of pairs of shoes? Then you might wonder what you can do with them besides throwing them straight in the trash can. 

Here are a couple of things you can do with unwanted shoes:

  • Throw them in your general waste bin
  • Sell them on an auction website
  • Hand them down to someone in need
  • Give them to a charitable organization
  • Repair them and sell them on
  • Upcycle them and use them for something else
  • Take them to a recycling center that accepts old shoes

Final Thoughts

We all get through a number of shoes a year. And throwing the shoes away that were originally really valuable may seem like a bit of a waste. 

So, what should you do with old shoes? Are shoes recycled or trash?

As we have seen in this article, there is not much you can do to recycle shoes. 

Most recycling centers will not accept old shoes because they are made of up combinations of synthetic materials that are tricky to separate. 

You have to throw your shoes in your general waste bin. Before you do, you may be able to do some repairs to get a couple of extra months out of them.

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