By Nancy Daniels
This year’s Nike Reuse-A-Shoe recycling program was another rousing success with more than 20,000 shoes collected on four islands — that means 20,000 shoes that are NOT going into our Hawaii landfills and instead, will be recycled into new playgrounds and sports surfaces around the world.
Mahalo to everyone who dropped off their old athletic shoes at the OHANA Waikiki East and Embassy Suites® -Waikiki Beach Walk® hotels in April. Outrigger filled nearly two bins with used athletic shoes from family and friends for this great cause. Mahalo also to Max Sword who transported the shoes to Niketown in Waikiki on April 26.
Every year, across the globe, millions of pairs of athletic shoes end up in landfills or are disposed of in some other way. That’s a lot of shoes going to waste! However, sports shoes can be processed and recycled into material used in sports surfaces like basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks, and playgrounds!
Since Nike started the Reuse-A-Shoe program, more than 20 million pairs of athletic shoes have been recycled, creating more than 250 sport surfaces around the world, giving thousands of young people access to new playgrounds and athletic facilities. In Hawaii alone, approximately 61,000 athletic shoes have been collected since the City and other sponsors, like Outrigger Enterprises Group, partnered with Nike in 2006.
As many of you already know, Niketown in Waikiki will be closing its doors in May. Because of the store’s closure, there has been some concern whether or not the Reuse-A-Shoe program would continue in Hawaii. During the April 26 collection, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced his commitment to continuing the recycling program, with next year’s collection location to be Honolulu Hale!
So, don’t throw out your used athletic shoes in the coming year! Put them in the back of your closet for next year’s Reuse-A-Shoe recycling program and save our landfills!