Friday, February 02, 2007
Sneaker’s Graveyard: Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program
Nike has a long-term commitment to waste elimination and to help increase the physical activity of young people to improve their lives. For over a decade the corporation have encouraged recycling millions of pairs of old, worn-out or otherwise unusable athletic shoe material and reusing this to build sports and play surfaces to help kids get active. Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program was started in 1993 with systematic separation of old shoes and materials into upper fabrics, midsole foams and outsole rubber. These are ground down in what is termed ‘Nike Grind’ and each category is used in a different way. Nike Grind Upper Fabrics, are used for padding under hardwood basketball floors. Nike Grind Foams are used in synthetic basketball courts, tennis courts and playground surfacing, and Nike Grind Rubber goes into baseball and soccer fields, as well as golf products, weight room flooring and running tracks. Nike is currently working with the National Recycling Coalition and over 80 recycling organizations in the US. Each recycling organization needs to collect 5,000 or more pairs of used athletic shoes of any brand. Nike has helped donate more than 170 sport surfaces, called NikeGO Places, to communities around the world. Unfortuantley due to the process not every shoe can get turned into Nike Grind material. Non-processable footwear includes with sport shoes with metal cleats and spikes, sandals (thongs), pumps, and dress shoes or boots. Todate Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program has recycled more than 13 million pairs of worn-out and defective athletic shoes to be used in soccer/football fields, basketball/tennis courts, tracks, and playground surfaces.