Shoes Put in Garbage Cart/Bin If your shoes are in good condition, consider donating them. Light Up Shoes Contain Mercury! Shoes with lights in them contain mercury so they must be disposed of with other hazardous waste. Find out how to dispose of light up shoes. Ways to Reuse Donate If your shoes still have life in them, consider donating them to a thrift store — shoes are often on the most-needed list. Upcycle Check out Pinterest for ideas on how to upcycle your old shoes, including creating gardening containers from your old Crocs. Did You Know? How Shoes Can Change Lives Landfills Full of Shoes Americans throw away 300 million shoes annually, about one pair per person. Many shoes are filled with chemical compounds that can last for as long as 1,000 years in a landfill.