Plum library steps into shoe-recycling benefit program

| Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, 9:01 p.m.

Plum Borough Community Library Director Marilyn Klingensmith always is on the lookout for outreach and fundraising opportunities.

When Klingensmith received in the mail a packet about a shoe-recycling program, she wanted to learn more.

“I thought, ‘this is kinda cool,'” Klingensmith said.

The library recently signed onto a program with ShoeBox Recycling of Fairless Hills, north of Philadelphia.

Under the program, organizations receive recycling bins for customers and patrons to place their gently used shoes.

Participating organizations return the boxes to ShoeBox Recycling and receive 50 cents a pound or about $20 for a 40-pound box, said Stephen Castrianni, spokesman for ShoeBox Recycling.

Castrianni said about 5,000 organizations across the country take part in the shoe-recycling program.

The company donates some of the shoes it receives from organizations to groups in South America and Africa. ShoeBox Recycling also sells some shoes to thrift stores in the U.S. “at a low cost,” he said.

“We want shoe recycling to become habit forming, engaging and rewarding for everyone involved,” Castrianni said. “Our partnership with Plum Community Library is a great way to get that message out. ShoeBox Recycling not only helps people around the world but also works to inspire a new generation of recyclers right here in our own communities.”

Klingensmith a couple weeks ago placed a box for the recycled shoes inside the front door of the library, and patrons are paying attention to it.

The program is expected to be ongoing, Klingensmith said.

“We hope people will donate shoes in each season,” Klingensmith said.

The library plans to use any money it receives for the general operation including programming and materials.

In addition to the potential benefits to the library, Klingensmith is pleased to be involved in a program that helps others.

“We hope people become mindful of the opportunity to reach out,” Klingensmith said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-871-2367 or

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