Categorized | Environment, Sports

Your old athletic shoes? … not trash


Old and worn athletic shoes are not trash. They can become much more than waste in a landfill and serve a greater purpose long after they’ve run their last race.

Now through Sunday April 26th, 2009, all Big Island Fire Stations will be collecting worn-out athletic shoes. All brands of athletic shoes will be accepted. However, rubber slippers, athletic cleats, and heelies will not be accepted.

Through the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program, worn-out athletic shoes are collected, recycled, and brought back to life as Nike Grind, used by leading sports and playground surfacing companies in the creation of new sports and play surfaces around the world. Nike is also continually working on innovative ways to use Nike Grind in new apparel, footwear and equipment.

To date, more than 22 million pairs of athletic shoes have been collected and thousands of tons of scrap material from the footwear manufacturing process have been rescued from landfills and reborn as athletic surfaces and innovative new products—and that’s just the beginning. Each year globally, between one and two million pairs of shoes take the important journey to an afterlife, living on through sport.

Hawai‘i County is participating for the first time in this annual statewide collection event. This collection is made possible by Nike, a partnership between the County of Hawai‘i Department of Environmental Management and the Hawaii County Fire Department, and through generous donations by Matson and Conen’s Freight Transport.

Every part of a worn-out athletic shoe can live on in something new. Let’s do our part and reuse a shoe today on our path towards zero waste.

For more information on this project, please contact Rebekah Sluss at the Department of Environmental Management at 961-8527 or visit

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