Sneaker Recycling Opportunities

Otsego County residents can now drop off used athletic shoes for recycling at two new locations in the Cooperstown area through a partnership between Otsego County Conservation Association and the Oneonta YMCA. These new drop off sites are in addition to the original location at the YMCA in Oneonta.

“Recycling athletic shoes is an easy way to help keep these hard to break-down items out of our landfills,” said OCCA Executive Director, Leslie Orzetti. “We are happy to be able to partner with the Oneonta YMCA on this effort.”

The new collection sites at the Clark Sports Center and the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market in Cooperstown join the original collection site at the YMCA in Oneonta. Each facility has a specially marked bin for shoes. Types of shoes that can be dropped off for recycling include any type of sneaker, as well as rubber soccer and baseball cleats. Shoes can be any condition: new, gently used, or unwearable, but pairs must be complete.

Once collected, the shoes are shipped to Got Sneakers in Miami, Florida. Good condition shoes are distributed to less fortunate people in South and Central America, the Caribbean, west Africa and Europe. Shoes deemed ‘unwearable’ are recycled into various products, including athletic surfaces such as tracks and playgrounds.

Got Sneakers pays for shipping and provides a reimbursement to the Oneonta YMCA for each pair of shoes received.

“In addition to helping keep things out of our waste stream, this is also a fundraiser for the YMCA, and we’re excited to be able to help another non-profit organization,” said Orzetti.

For more information on Got Sneakers, visit

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, planning, and practice. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit


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