The following items can be recycled on behalf of Variety:

  1. Shoes 
  2. Mobile Phones
  3. Printer ink and toner cartridges
How will recycling support Variety?

Our recycling partners, the SOEX UK Ltd and Clover Environmental Solutions, make a donation to Variety for every item given to them for recycling. These donations add up, and mean we’re able to help more children.

How will recycling shoes, phones and ink cartridges help the environment?

  • Over 330 million pairs of new shoes are bought each year in the UK. Shoe materials are not normally biodegradable. Recycling shoes reduces landfill and recycles the materials.
  • Most phones can be repaired or recycled, but a single discarded cell phone has enough pollutants to damage 132,000 litres of water.
  • An ink cartridge will decompose, but it takes 100 years. In the UK, 30 million cartridges are sent to landfill every year.

How can I recycle my shoes?

All shoes, in any condition, are accepted at 7,000 Variety shoe recycling banks throughout the UK. Most are located in car parks in front of shopping centres and supermarkets.

There are 7,000 Variety shoe recycling banks in the UK – how can I find the one closest to me?

Please call 08000 902 321 to find out where your closest shoe bank is located.

How can I recycle mobiles and cartridges at work or school to help Variety?

Recycling mobiles and cartridges at work or school can be as simple as placing a cardboard box in your staff room, reception or another busy area. Put unwanted mobiles and cartridges in the box, seal it with tape and arrange collection by calling 01372 751170

Don’t forget to let your colleagues know about your ‘Recycling for Variety’ campaign. You could email all staff or make an announcement during a meeting.

Please do not put Epson cartridges as they cannot be recycled.

What happens to the shoes?

The shoes are sorted for suitability. Worn-out shoes are used to manufacture materials like insulation for buildings. Others are distributed to developing countries around the world where they are refurbished by local people, thus creating much-needed employment.

What happens to the phones?

Most mobiles are repaired and sold on as working phones. Those that can’t be repaired have all precious metals extracted, and any remaining materials smelted for energy recovery.

What happens to the cartridges?

Most printer cartridges are sold to re-manufacturers who recondition and refill them. They provide consumers with a lower cost, more environmentally friendly option.

Where can I get a shoe recycling stand?

We can provide a free compact recycling stand for your school, workplace or elsewhere.

The recycling stand’s dimensions are:

  • lid – 18.5 x 14.5 inches
  • height – 33.5 inches

Please contact our recycling partners on 08000 902 321 to arrange the delivery and collection once the stand is full.

Once you’ve set it up, don’t forget to make sure that everybody knows about your Variety shoe recycling facility.

Do I need to remove my mobile phone sim card before donating?

Before donating your mobile phone, please remove your sim card. Also, verify that your account has been cancelled with your service provider.


More Information

If you’d like to find out more, order a shoe recycling stand or organise a shoe collection, please call our recycling partners, SOEX UK Ltd., on 08000 902 321 or email

To arrange the collection of a full box of mobile phones or printer cartridges, please call 01372 751170