ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico state representative said she found perfectly good shoes that someone could have used, tossed in the dumpster by a business.
“It’s just a terrible, terrible waste,” said Democratic State Representative, Idalia Lechuga-Tena. She’s referring to what she saw being thrown away Wednesday afternoon.
Lechuga-Tena and her mom had just picked up items from Sports Authority’s ‘Going out of Business’ sale at Winrock, when they saw someone leave the store and head around the corner to the dumpster.
“I asked what is that?” Lechuga-Tena said. “And he said, ‘Well it’s just trash.'”
The trash she saw being thrown out left her in shock.
“It was full of brand new tennis shoes that were cut on purpose so that they’re not usable again,” Lechuga-Tena told KRQE News 13.
She snapped photos of brand-new looking shoes tossed in the dumpster. The shoes had been sliced.
“It looks like they cut them with a knife and they’re not donating them, which they probably should,” said Federico Berard, an Albuquerque resident.
Lechuga-Tena said seeing the waste made her angry. “It’s having good corporate citizenship,” she told KRQE News 13.
“There are many non-profits in New Mexico that are constantly looking for donations,” Lechuga-Tena added. “I understand they’re a big corporation but there’s need in every single community.”
She said she would have liked to see the shoes go to a shelter, or to someone who may not be able to afford a brand new pair of shoes.
When KRQE News 13 went to check it out, the dumpster door was closed, but there were signs of Sports Authority. Sitting next to the dumpster was a new looking Nike slipper with the tag still on it, and a clean tear through the shoe.
Lechuga-Tena said it may very well be that the company can do whatever it wants with merchandise it doesn’t sell, but to her, it’s more “about the principal.”
“It’s about having compassion for your community, it’s about helping those in need,” she said.
KRQE News 13 tried contacting Sports Authority’s corporate office, but no one returned our calls.
The store in Winrock’s shopping center appeared closed Thursday afternoon.
“I just want to prevent this terrible waste from occurring again,” said Lechuga-Tena.
She said she’s looking into state and federal law when it comes to how corporations can dispose of merchandise.