12-Year-Old Boy Saves 4,000 Pairs of Shoes From the Landfill for Recycling

EcoErek, Erek Hanson, USAgain, shoe recycling, clothes recycling, clothing recycling, denim recycling, textile recycling, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Ohio

Twelve year old “Eco” Erek Hansen is putting his best foot forward, and has gone on a one-boy mission to divert thousands of shoes from our landfills. The Ohio kid has been organizing shoe drives in his home town, collecting cast off sneaks and turning them over to clothing recycler USAgain. Rather than playing video games, the inspiring tween spends his free time reducing his carbon footprint.

EcoErek, Erek Hanson, USAgain, shoe recycling, clothes recycling, clothing recycling, denim recycling, textile recycling, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Ohio

Each year over 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown into United States landfills, an unnecessary waste in the eyes of Hansen.  He and his mother drove the 4,000 pairs of shoes he collected all the way to West Chicago, to the USAgain clothing recycling facility, who gladly accepted the donation and slated it for recycling into other products. Along with recycling the shoes, the company also made a $1,000 donation on Hansen’s behalf to an environmental clean up non-profit.

Hansen’s collected shoes will either be reused by the underprivileged, or recycled. Unusable shoes can be transformed into running tracks, tennis courts or soft playground surfaces by grinding them up.

Aside from collecting old shoes, Hansen also recycles old jeans, creating a denim drive just as big as his shoe collecting. Even though his 8,000 shoe donation has been turned over to USAgain, he doesn’t plan to stop there. The Ohio kid plans to start the process over in his home town, and has even started a website so interested parties can donate their old shoes to Hansen’s cause.

+ EcoErek

[Via ABC News]

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One Response to “12-Year-Old Boy Saves 4,000 Pairs of Shoes From the Landfill for Recycling”

  1. donate.wisely says:

    Of course, Erek is to be congratulated. But too bad he chose USAgain, a for-profit company. Local charities ALSO accept shoes, and use the proceeds to help the needy.

    USAgain gets a lot of bad press. One 2009 report even suggested that USAgain “…routinely pretended to be a charity so business owners wouldn’t ask for rent on the bin space.” The same report tied USAgain to an alleged cult called the Tvind Teachers Group, whose leaders are fugitives wanted on fraud charges.

    Research before you donate.

    Below is a list of just some of the unfavorable reports on USAgain. To view them, simply highlight a title, right-click it, then select “Search Google…”. A new tab should open in your Web-browser, showing search results for that title. The one you want should appear at the top of the search results):

    Millions In Clothing Donations Diverted From Charity – kirotv

    Local Mayor Wants Red Bins Out – USAgain in Seattle – YouTube

    Report: for-profit clothes bins hurting charities – YouTube

    No charity cases: Some clothing boxes are not what they seem to be – Herald & Review

    [PDF] Tri County News – Kimball, MN | Do you know where your donation is going?

    BBB: Charity bins suspect – View International Cultic Studies

    [PDF] BetterBusiness JulAug 2005 converted.indd

    Doing Business in a Box – TIME

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