Recycled sneakers stay out of the garbage, back in the game


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Thinking of getting a new pair of running shoes for the summer? Instead of throwing out your old stinky pair, recycle them! One day they could be reborn as Nike Grind – a raw material made from recycled athletic shoes and Nike manufacturing scrap – that can be used in all types of surfaces (running tracks, basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, synthetic turf fields etc.) and in new sneakers and apparel.

Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program started in 1990 to help reduce the company’s environmental footprint and reduce the amount of shoes that ended up in landfills. Two decades later and 25, 249, 000 pairs of shoes collected, the program is still impacting the environment.

How does it work?
This list from Nikereuseashoe.com shows the part of the shoe that’s used and approximately how many pairs of shoes (or the manufacturing scrap equivalent), generally go into each type of surface containing Nike Grind:

  • Outdoor basketball court (midsole foam): 2,500 pairs
  • Outdoor tennis court (midsole foam): 2,500 pairs
  • Full field or soccer pitch (outsole rubber): 50,000 to 75,000 pairs
  • Mini soccer field (outsole rubber): 10,000 to 20,000 pairs
  • Running track (outsole rubber): 75,000 pairs
  • Playground (outsole rubber): 2,500 pairs
  • Indoor wood basketball court (upper fabric): 2,500 pairs
  • Indoor synthetic basketball court (midsole foam): 2,500 pairs

See how they do it here:

Reuse-A-Shoe bins are available at more than 300 locations in the United States, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, including most U.S. Nike and Converse stores, as well as community recycling centers and other locations.

Click here to find a bin near you.