Shoes, sneakers collected in Madison for recycling

MADISON– Residents are encouraged to clear out their closets and and donate gently used shoes and sneakers in the Madison Environmental Commission’s fourth annual footwear recycling drive during April, “Earth Month.”

Throughout April, footwear can be dropped off at all Madison public schools and at two new collection locations: Suburban Shop Shoes at 5 Waverly Place in downtown Madison, and the Museum of Early Trades and Craftsat 9 Main St. at Green Village Road.

“Bring in a pair of recycled shoes or sneakers and receive $1 off admission,” invited Erin O’Donnell, communications coordinator for the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts. The museum’s regular admission is $5 for adults; $3 for senior citizens, students and children 6 and older, and free for museum members and children 5 and younger, with a maximum family admission of $15.

When donors drop off shoes and sneakers, O’Donnell suggested they visit the museum’s new mini-exhibit of 19th century shoes found hidden in the walls of one of Madison’s earliest residences. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, and is closed on Mondays and major holidays.

Keep It Clean

The April recycling drive accepts pairs of shoes, sneakers, boots and cleats — rubber banded together or laces tied. Footwear must be clean.

Organizers ask the public not to donate broken shoes, single shoes, rubber flip-flops, slippers, ski boots, ice skates, roller blades, or footwear covered in mud.

“According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American throws out 70 pounds of clothing every year. A staggering 85 percent ends up in a landfill,” noted Stephan Stocker, chairman of the Madison Environmental Commission. “Few people realize that textiles and shoes can be recycled by dealers who export usable shoes to developing countries, and shred the remainder for car insulation and other uses.”

Stocker added, “We’re pleased to make our shoe drive an annual tradition. Recycling is such an easy way to ‘go green’ — and to cut our taxes by reducing the cost of hauling trash off to landfills.”

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