Students Take a Huge Step to Reduce Waste

Connector Fall 2016

Students in Strathcona County really stepped up during Waste Reduction Week this year. They collected over 12,100 pairs of shoes during a shoe drive hosted by Strathcona County Utilities.

soles4souls-pine-street-kids-croppedFrom October 17 to 23, students from Elk Island Catholic, Elk Island Public, New Horizons and École Claudette-et-Denis-Tardif Schools collected shoes that may otherwise end up in the landfill. The 28 participating schools donated over 4,500 kg (10,000 lb.) of shoes with Ministik School collecting the most donations per student. Holy Spirit School collected the most pairs, bringing in 1,659.

Each school was given a variety of prizes such as gift cards for Sport Chek, iTunes, Tim Hortons and 7-Eleven, as well as board games and coloring books. These soles4souls-shoes-in-green-cartprizes, donated by Progressive Waste Solutions, were great incentives for the students. With each donation, the student received a draw ticket.

Strathcona County sorted through some of the donated shoes. These shoes were then given to local charities to distribute to those who need them most. If the shoes cannot be reused locally, they will be sent to Soles4Souls, a global non-profit organization, for reuse and refurbishing by small businesses in developing economies.

The race continues!

Strathcona County’s collection program doesn’t end there! County residents can still donate shoes in any state of wear, brand, or size at County facilities.

If you are interested in hosting a shoe drive in your town, please contact Erin Wildeboer at or call 780.416.6784 to discuss tips and logistics behind having a successful event.

submitted by Erin Wildeboer