Recycle Your Old Shoes

For years we have heard about recycling our plastics, aluminum cans, paper and used electronics – but what else can we recycle? I recently found out that my old running shoes can be recycled and remanufactured to make athletic surfaces. During the manufacturing process, my old shoes are cut into three slices which are then fed through a grinder and then purified. The purified material is then used to produce many different types of surfaces such as playground surfaces, tennis courts and outdoor tracks. Check out this recycling process! I don’t know of any other programs like it, but hopefully it will catch on. It is a cool process that will save energy and resources. And, like many other recycling processes – we also help the environment by reducing excess waste when we recycle our old shoes. Instead of piling our old shoes on top of a local landfill, we can put them to use in our parks and athletic centers. What other products in our home can we recycle? Let’s help prevent waste and conserve resources and energy through recycling in our homes and communities. Be sure to let us know what great ideas you have.

About the author: Michelle Gugger graduated from Rutgers University in 2008. She is currently spending a year of service at EPA’s Region 3 Office in Philadelphia, PA as an AmeriCorps VISTA.