Recycling can help Variety

Everyone can help by donating used and unwanted

  • Shoes 
  • Mobile Phones
  • Printer ink and toner cartridges

Recycling these items will also help to reduce landfill waste.


A simple act makes a big impact

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 are sent to landfill every year.

How will recycling support Variety?

Our recycling partners, the SOEX UK Ltd and Clover Environmental Solutions, make a donation to Variety for the items you help recycle.

How can I recycle my shoes?

All shoes, in any conditions 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. 

Please call 08000 902 321 to find out where your closest shoe bank is located. All shoes, in any condition are accepted. 

Free recycling shoe stand

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

Don’t forget to make sure that everybody knows about the Variety shoe recycling facility! 

How do I recycle mobiles and cartridges at work or school?

It can be as simple as a cardboard box.

Place the box in your staff room, reception or other busy area. Put unwanted mobiles and cartridges in the box, seal it with a 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 send 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 remanufacturers who recondition and refill them. They provide consumers with a lower cost and an environmentally friendly option.

Important things to remember

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

Keep each type of items in a separate recycle box or bag.

More Information

For more information or to order a recycling stand or organise a shoe collection, Please call our recycling partners, SOEX UK Ltd. on 08000 902 321 or email

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