Established in the early 1990s, Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program collects old, worn-out athletic shoes for recycling, and along with pre-consumer shoe waste, transforms them into Nike Grind, a material used to create athletic and playground surfaces and more.
More than two decades ago, Nike began looking for ways to reduce the company's environmental footprint and the number of shoes that ended up in landfills. Nike first started by collecting worn-out athletic shoes, and then teamed up with other organizations to make them into sport surfaces and more.
More than 1.5 million pairs of worn-out shoes are collected for recycling each year, in addition to thousands of tons of pre-consumer manufacturing scrap material that is also recycled. Since the program began, we've collected more than 28 million pairs of used athletic shoes.
There are a number of organizations dedicated to shoe donations, where lightly worn shoes are collected and sent to communities or individuals. Nike Reuse-A-Shoe is different because we take worn-out shoes - ones that would otherwise go to landfills - and recycle them into something new, like tracks, playgrounds or materials for new Nike products. If your shoes still have life in them, we encourage you to research shoe donation options in your area. But once they reach retirement, Reuse-A-Shoe is the place to go.
To know if your shoes should be donated or recycled, use these simple guidelines:
Unfortunately, the program doesn't currently arrange for speaking engagements.
Recycling shoes is extremely easy. There are two ways you can recycle your shoes through the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program:
You can drop off athletic shoes of any brand for recycling. Nike's recycling equipment is set up specifically for the material and dimensions of athletic shoes. For this reason we are not able to accept sandals, flip-flops, dress shoes, or boots. We also can't accept shoes containing metal such as cleats or spikes.
The Reuse-A-Shoe program doesn't currently support recycling events outside specific drop-off locations. (See "Where do I recycle my shoes?").
Your shoes are transported to one of two facilities in Memphis, Tennessee or Meerhout, Belgium (whichever is closest) where they are processed into Nike Grind material.
As Reuse-A-Shoe is considered a recycling program and not a shoe donation program, we are unable to generate receipts for shoe recycling efforts.
If you don't have local access to Nike Reuse-A-Shoe we recommend donating to a charity or contacting your local city or government office for recycling options in your area.
Nike Grind includes three types of raw materials made from recycled athletic shoes and manufacturing byproducts: rubber from the outsole, foam from the midsole and fabric from the upper. These materials are ground up and used by select companies in sport and playground surfaces, as well as in numerous Nike apparel, footwear and equipment products.
Industry leading sports and playground surfacing companies utilize Nike Grind to manufacture high-performance athletic surfaces such as tennis and basketball courts, running tracks, athletic fields and playgrounds. Additionally, Nike has discovered innovative uses for Nike Grind in various footwear and apparel products.
We do not donate surfaces in exchange for collecting shoes. Our vision is to help reduce the number of shoes that end up in landfills. Nike has established relationships with leading surface providers who can install a surface containing Nike Grind; however, Nike does not donate surfaces to organizations or individuals as a result of their efforts to collect shoes.
Note that the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe and Nike Grind programs do not offer support or product donations directly. For more information and an application, visit the Nike Giving Guidelines.
Further details on the product, its applications and how to get connected can be found at www.nikegrind.com.