What exactly to do with that old pair of shoes? If you’re like most people, you probably have a couple of pairs maybe more of old sneakers kicking around the house. And if you’re like most people, you probably can’t figure out quite what to do with them.
When all is said and done, most of these shoe leftovers will probably end up in the trash. But there are alternatives. Put your old shoes on your spring cleaning to-do list, and save them from the inevitable landfill.
Donate your shoes. A wide variety of programs exist to get a pair of sneakers from one person who has outgrown them, grown tired of them, or worn holes in them to another person, who is happy just to have the shoes. Organizations like Up & Running (UK) [www.upandrunning.co.uk], Recycled Runners (Australia) [www.recycledrunners.com.au], or Eco-Cycle (USA) [www.ecocycle.org] will gladly accept your old shoes and pass them on to someone who can use them.
Or, turn them in for parts. The rubber on the soles of your shoes can be broken down and reprocessed into a variety of products, most commonly athletic flooring. Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program, based in Wilsonville, Oregon, grinds down old shoes to use the rubber in synthetic sports fields and playing surfaces, and even in indoor basketball courts. Check out the Reuse-a-Shoe website [www.nikereuseashoe.com] for more information or for pick-up locations.