OK, so you spent most of the year outside doing great things
for the environment, right?! Well I bet your work shoes are looking more than a little tired by now. Matter of fact, they
are probably in dire need of replacement. But what do you do with those tired old shoes? They are probably entirely too nasty
from clean-ups through ignored parks, walking the Crop Walk, & helping FOCAS with all of their other events, to donate
them to charity. You hate to toss them in the trash because you know they will never biodegrade in your lifetime, so what
do you do with them?
Nike & their Nike Grind Partners have developed a solution
to the growing problem of discarded shoes, they turn them into something else! Nike now accepts athletic shoes of all brands
and grinds them up for use in athletic surfaces. Here is what they do, they accept shoes at various locations and send them
to a recycling center to be divided into three components: the rubber outsole, the foam midsoles, and the fabric & leather
uppers. Then they grind up the separate components and use them to create surfaces for various athletic fields. The granulated
rubber outsoles & factory scrap are made into football, soccer, baseball and weight room flooring. The granulated foam
from the shoe midsoles is used to manufacture surfacing tiles for synthetic basketball courts, tennis courts and playgrounds.
The granulated fabric and leather is transformed into the padding needed for under hardwood basketball flooring.
According to Nike it takes an average of 3,000 athletic shoes
to make one basketball court and 100,000 shoes to make a reuse-a-shoe running track. That is more than twice the number of
shoes that run in the NY City Marathon each year! OK, now work the numbers for just a second here, for every 100,000 shoes
recycled, it makes approximately 1 - running track, 33 - synthetic basketball, tennis or playground surfaces and the padding
for 33 hardwood floored basketball courts! Take about Reduce-Reuse-Recycle! And to top it all off, Nike donated about 100
sports surfaces last year to communities that needed it!
So get together with others and collect up all of your old athletic
shoes and take them to a non-profit recycling center to send them to the Nike Grind Program! There are already several donation
centers set up in Tennessee: Germantown & Memphis! Just go to http://www.nike.com/nikebiz/nikebiz.jhtml?page=27&cat=reuseashoe to find the closest location to you! If there is not a collection partner
in your area, you can send any number of shoes to us at: Nike Recycling Center, c/o Reuse-A-Shoe, 26755 SW 95th Ave., Wilsonville,
OR 97070. (Nike will not accept shoes delivered with postage due)
There are also several donation centers set up in Michigan:
Okemos, Lansing, Webberville, Charlotte, Grand Ledge and Bath! Just go to http://www.nike.com/nikebiz/nikebiz.jhtml?page=27&cat=reuseashoe to find the closest location to you!