Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Recycle your old hiking boots with Soles4Souls

  1. #1
    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Middletown, CT
    Posts
    985

    Recycle your old hiking boots with Soles4Souls

    Non-profit group is taking in old hiking boots.

    See their website:
    Soles4Souls/


    Brian

  2. #2
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    3,101
    Pretty cool program. I've been reading a bit about a lot of the outdoor companies impact on the environment, "greenwashing" and other topics of late. I had no idea how big of an impact the textile industry had on greenhouse emissions, trash, etc. Pretty eye opening. You think of "big oil" and a lot of the other obvious causes but it is a pretty broad issue. Nice to see a lot of companies taking a stand and trying to make some changes and seeing the companies pretending to make a change being called out for faking it just because it is popular. We're such a disposable, short term oriented society nowadays.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,856
    I am cynic on this.

    Its interesting that they claim to have actual demand while Goodwill has admitted that they are effectively just picking near new or new clothing from their incoming stream and disposing of the rest by packaging the large remainder into bulk loads that are sold by the pound to third world intermediaries.

    I was involved at one time with a project to convert the tail end of the waste stream from the Southern California area into energy and I remember a big component of the waste stream sample we received was shoes and soles. Due to the high cost of landfills, everything remotely recyclable had been picked out of the waste stream but shoes and soles seemed to be of no value. They could run through the process but they usually had chlorinated components so the exhaust had to be treated for Dioxins and Furans (both very nasty stuff)

    I talked to someone involved with disaster relief on the ground several years ago and one of the biggest PITA things that they waste their time on is well intentioned bulk shipments of donations to disaster areas. Rarely if ever do the collected products actually get used, most are eventually hauled to a dump where the "secondary economy" (AKA trash pickers) grab what then can. There are usually polite reminders in disaster solicitations is what they really need is cash as its rapidly deployable but they have to be careful about discouraging donations of products as it can ricochet on them. There have been several high profile cases of "charitable organizations" whose primary benefactors are the managers that collect or buy bulk castoffs and send them to disaster areas and list them as products of much higher value to "prove" that at least some of the money collected actually is spent outside the organization.

    Here is one example https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/l...erience/66461/

  4. #4
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    3,101
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    I am cynic on this.

    Its interesting that they claim to have actual demand while Goodwill has admitted that they are effectively just picking near new or new clothing from their incoming stream and disposing of the rest by packaging the large remainder into bulk loads that are sold by the pound to third world intermediaries.

    I was involved at one time with a project to convert the tail end of the waste stream from the Southern California area into energy and I remember a big component of the waste stream sample we received was shoes and soles. Due to the high cost of landfills, everything remotely recyclable had been picked out of the waste stream but shoes and soles seemed to be of no value. They could run through the process but they usually had chlorinated components so the exhaust had to be treated for Dioxins and Furans (both very nasty stuff)

    I talked to someone involved with disaster relief on the ground several years ago and one of the biggest PITA things that they waste their time on is well intentioned bulk shipments of donations to disaster areas. Rarely if ever do the collected products actually get used, most are eventually hauled to a dump where the "secondary economy" (AKA trash pickers) grab what then can. There are usually polite reminders in disaster solicitations is what they really need is cash as its rapidly deployable but they have to be careful about discouraging donations of products as it can ricochet on them. There have been several high profile cases of "charitable organizations" whose primary benefactors are the managers that collect or buy bulk castoffs and send them to disaster areas and list them as products of much higher value to "prove" that at least some of the money collected actually is spent outside the organization.

    Here is one example https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/l...erience/66461/
    I didn't look into the company in great detail but it didn't strike me as a recycling program. It just sounded like they were getting the shoes to people who could use them as opposed to just tossing them and causing landfill problems. From the article in the "about Soles4Souls":

    “We focus on three main program areas to fulfill our mission,” the company says in its promotional materials. First is free distribution: “We distribute new shoes, donated by our corporate partners, to people in need in the U.S. and around the world.” The second focus is micro-enterprise: “We help hard-working entrepreneurs build their own small businesses selling donated shoes.” Finally, impact travel is one of the company’s specialties, achieved through its Global Experiences program: “Traveling on a Soles4Souls Global Experience is a great way to learn new cultures, meet amazing people, and play a hands-on role in distributing shoes to people in need.”

    I didn't see any references to recycling the shoe materials. Sounded like it was totally about reusing the existing products, which is what I thought was impactful about the project. I agree there are a lot of shenanigans in the "recycling" industry.
    Last edited by DayTrip; 04-21-2021 at 01:35 PM. Reason: punctuation
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,856
    Okay I get that they will redistribute new shoes donated by partners. That is relatively easy. The boots being solicited from the public are presumably used in unknown condition. So second focus seems to apply “We help hard-working entrepreneurs build their own small businesses selling donated shoes.” Define "Help"?. Are they sending container loads of used shoes in questionable condition to some entrepreneur in the third world under the pretense that said entrepreneur will be able to sell them?. What happens to shoes and boots that are so worn out that they are unsalable?. Is the organization taking responsibility for proper disposal or do they leave it up to the third world entrepreneur to do so? Sounds to me like a recipe for improper disposal. I would speculate that the entrepreneur would receive a container and then sort it into saleable and unsaleable. His profit is in the saleable so its to his incentive to dispose of the unsaleable at the lowest possible cost. That disposal in the third world is typically in a burn pile to ensure that the discarded goods are unusable, otherwise another entrepreneur will dig through the discards and resell them.

    Feel good is easy, actually following through is tough.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 04-21-2021 at 02:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Woodstock, CT
    Posts
    3,101
    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Okay I get that they will redistribute new shoes donated by partners. That is relatively easy. The boots being solicited from the public are presumably used in unknown condition. So second focus seems to apply “We help hard-working entrepreneurs build their own small businesses selling donated shoes.” Define "Help"?. Are they sending container loads of used shoes in questionable condition to some entrepreneur in the third world under the pretense that said entrepreneur will be able to sell them?. What happens to shoes and boots that are so worn out that they are unsalable?. Is the organization taking responsibility for proper disposal or do they leave it up to the third world entrepreneur to do so? Sounds to me like a recipe for improper disposal. I would speculate that the entrepreneur would receive a container and then sort it into saleable and unsaleable. His profit is in the saleable so its to his incentive to dispose of the unsaleable at the lowest possible cost. That disposal in the third world is typically in a burn pile to ensure that the discarded goods are unusable, otherwise another entrepreneur will dig through the discards and resell them.

    Feel good is easy, actually following through is tough.
    If the boots/shoes aren't in saleable condition they were going in the landfill anyway. And entrepreneurs could presumably repair some of the shoes they were given to make them saleable too. At least this way less of them are winding up as trash and it generates some disposable income and employment in markets that probably are in sore need of it. Not a "problem solved!" program but it helps. One of the articles I read awhile back said a staggering amount of textiles, clothes and shoes, wind up in the trash due to fashion trend changes, buying the next "new thing" and other fairly superficial reasons. But I get what you're saying though. My first thought reading this was how bad a shape can the shoes be in to donate? I didn't see that addressed anywhere unless I missed it. The only disclaimer I recall was they weren't taking technical gear like climbing shoes and ski boots. I could make some entrepreneur very happy with all the array of poorly fitting shoes I've bought and endured over the years.
    Last edited by DayTrip; 04-21-2021 at 02:55 PM.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Gorham NH
    Posts
    6,856
    Me too, I have pair of mid weight Limmers that are barely used but not sure what the demand would be for size 13 wides. I have near mint pair of size 13 Asolo plastic boots that I never plan to wear again. and closet full or worn out trail runners that are good for around the house or painting that are never going to go back on the trail.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •