Recycling Mystery: How To Recycle Your Tennis Shoes

You jog in them. Compete in them. Maybe even meet your pal for lunch in them. They add an additional bounce to your step and urge you to take the steps as a substitute of the elevator. When the very last thing you wish to do is get up for that morning run, they’re there for you.

They have a particular place in your closet and your coronary heart. They are your tennis sneakers, sneakers, jogging sneakers, trainers, kicks. Whatever you name them, what occurs when you’ve liked them to loss of life?

Even although we get a number of life out of our sneakers, Americans throw away a minimum of 300 million pairs of sneakers yearly, in keeping with the U.S. Department of Interior. In a landfill, it takes 30 to 40 years for sneakers to decompose.

There are two strategies for maintaining sneakers out of landfills: donation and recycling.

The Overseas Shoe Market

In addition to secondhand shops that settle for sneakers — like Goodwill and Salvation Army — there are organizations specializing in shoe donation. Tennessee-based Soles4Souls has collected greater than 46 million pairs of sneakers since 2006 and distributed them to kids in want internationally — and within the U.S.

Soles4Souls accepts all forms of sneakers — so long as they’re new or gently worn. As a 501(c)(3) group, all donations are tax-deductible. There are drop-off places all through the U.S., or you possibly can donate them by way of a partnership with Zappos that features free transport.

More choices for gently used athletic sneakers:

  • One World Running sends sneakers in good situation to Africa, Central, and South America, in addition to to shelters, church buildings, Native American reserves, and navy recruits within the U.S.
  • More Foundation Group additionally accepts gently used athletic sneakers and sells them to assist fund reforestation initiatives in Ghana.

Shoes Into Playgrounds and Sports Surfaces

If you’ve worn these kicks into the bottom, then recycling might be your finest wager. Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program has you coated.

Since the early Nineties, the Reuse-A-Shoe program has collected worn-out sneakers and salvaged supplies to make Nike Grind, which consists of almost each a part of an outdated operating shoe: rubber from the outsole, foam from the midsole, and cloth from the higher. Nike Grind additionally incorporates pre-consumer materials, together with manufacturing scraps and sneakers with manufacturing defects.

“The recycled shoes are given new life,” says Simon Lofts, director of Nike Inc. Sustainable Business & Innovation. “They are reborn into sports and playground surfaces around the world.” These surfaces vary from neighborhood playgrounds to skilled athletic surfaces and extra.

Bring as much as 10 pairs of any model of athletic shoe to a Nike Store close to you. Not all places will settle for sneakers, so please verify with the placement earlier than you drop them off.

If you don’t reside close to a Nike retailer, you possibly can mail athletic sneakers to the next deal with (you pay the transport):

Nike Recycling Center
c/o Reuse-A-Shoe
199 Pearson Parkway
Lebanon, IN 46052

Other sports activities shoe producers additionally supply product takeback:

The non-Nike recycling methodology for sneakers includes breaking them down into 4 supplies: leather-based, foam, rubber, and different. Leather will get bonded into new leather-based sheets, the froth may be recycled into carpet padding, rubber can be utilized for brand new sneakers or floor materials, and different materials usually turns into insulation.

Your sneakers could also be leaving their trusty place by your facet, however they’ve bought loads of life forward of them.

This article was initially printed on July 12, 2010. We up to date the article in December 2019 and April 2022.

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