The city of Dallas in partnership with World Wear Project has collected 17 tons of athletic shoes for resale. 

Photo courtesy of World Wear Project.

Jan. 29, 2014

A shoe recycling program in Dallas is making tracks thanks to a partnership between the city of Dallas and a for-profit Dallas clothing collection company.

Since February 2012, the city of Dallas has been working with World Wear Project, which provides collection bins for dropping off used athletic shoes at 75 city-wide locations. The shoes are sorted, repaired and shipped to impoverished third world countries, such as such as Chile, Guatemala and Honduras, for resale. 

Kathleen Graham, waste diversion specialist with the city of Dallas, says that the program has been successful with 17 tons of shoes collected so far. In October, the program earned the city of Dallas Waste Diversion Team awards from both the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth Recycling Alliance and the North Texas Corporative Recycling Assocation.  

Brandon Morton, program coordinator for World Wear Project, says that the city of Dallas shoe collection is a pilot program, which the company is now hoping to expand into other cities, nonprofits and schools. He said collecting shoes or any clothing for that matter can provide fundraising opportunities for a variety of organizations.

World Wear Project, which originated in Dallas in 1994, accepts all athletic shoes, except those with metal cleats on the soles, including shoes for soccer, tennis, lacrosse, running, walking, exercising or any other recreational activity. 

In addition, the company can accomodate drives for hiking boots, cowboy boots and men’s shoes as there is a demand for them. World Wear Project picks them up at no cost, weighs them and sends a check for each 60 pounds collected.  

“We can make money for you, be it Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, bands, sports teams, etc.,” says Morton. “Contact us regarding the dates of your shoe or clothing drive, we will send a truck to pick up everything your organization has collected.”

World Wear Project can also print door-hangers advertising the organization’s fundraiser and provide plastic bags for members to distribute and pick up with donation items.

Or World Wear Project can provide a large steel bin or the smaller athletic shoes collection bin on a longer term basis. Bins are decorated with your organization’s artwork and advertise its mission. World Wear Project provides the insured bin free and maintains its look and integrity.

The city of Dallas and World Wear Project are currently in the process of placing new bins at four or five new locations that include fitness centers, recreation centers, tennis centers and county clubs.

“Recycling works at these venues, because many people are involved in sports and have used athletic shoes to discard,” he says.  

To start a shoe or clothing drive, contact Brandon Morton at World Wear Project at 214-352-5551.

Dallas shoe drop-off locations.

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