In an effort to raise environmental awareness by bringing new life to worn-out athletic shoes previously destined for overcrowded landfills.
As a result of the student group’s recent collection drive efforts, more than 1,200 donated sneakers will soon find their way to the Nike Recycling Center in Wilsonville, Ore., where they will be ground up and eventually transformed into an array of new sport surfaces such as basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks and playgrounds.
Club members sorted through the various donated worn-out athletic shoes and prepared them for shipment to the Nike Recycling Center. Once at the recycling complex, the shoes will be separated into one of three Nike Grind materials, which include rubber from the outsole, foam from the mid-sole and fabric from the upper.
The Nike Grind is then incorporated into playground and sport surfaces as part of partnerships with industry-leading surfacing companies.
In addition to the 1,200 shoes donated to Nike, 132 pairs of shoes were viewed as usable and in good condition and they were donated to the Cherry Street Mission in Toledo.
The sneaker collection drive was part of a collaborative effort with Nike and their “Reuse-A-Shoe” program, which has recycled more than 22 million pairs of athletic shoes and created more than 250 sport surfaces around the globe. In 2008, more than 1,000 shoes were donated to the student organization’s initial collection drive efforts.