Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 |
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LIHU‘E — The sole of your athletic shoe is hanging on by a sliver of rubber, the laces are frayed and tattered from use and its body browned by the build-up of dirt and grime.
But that’s not the end of the line for the shoes that served you well.
This is the final week for people to recycle used athletic shoes, said Allison Fraley, the county’s Recycling Coordinator.
Special Nike Reuse-A-Shoe bins are set up at all seven of Kaua‘i’s fire stations, the county’s Mo‘ikeha Building and the Kaua‘i Resource Center, where people can bring their old shoes for recycling. In addition, collection bins are also located at The Foot Locker and Famous Footwear through Friday.
“I encourage everyone who has old athletic shoes to take part in this worthwhile program,” said Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “Instead of your old shoes ending up in the landfill, why not recycle them so they can be used to make new products.”
As a further incentive to recycling athletic shoes, Fraley said there are several places that are offering premiums for people depositing athletic shoes.
Deja Vu stores are offering a 20 percent discount on new shoes for people bringing in recycled shoes, Fraley said. Additionally, the Work It Out shop in Kapa‘a is offering a $10 coupon for people bringing in old athletic shoes.
“All of this is good through Friday,” Fraley said. “This weekend, during the county’s Age Group Track Meet on Saturday and Sunday, we will have people from the recycling office collecting shoes at Vidinha Stadium as well.”
But that is the final chance for old athletic shoes to get life as new products.
“On Sunday afternoon we will be packing everything to shipping,” Fraley said.
All brands of athletic shoes will be accepted in the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program except for those containing metal such as steel-toed shoes or those with metal cleats.
Following the collection, the used shoes will be sent to Nike’s recycling facility in Oregon where a “slice and grind” technique will be used to split the shoes into three types of Nike Grind materials.
Rubber from the outsole is used to create track surfaces, interlocking gym floor tiles, playground surfacing materials and consumer products such as new footwear outsoles and trim items such as buttons and zipper pulls.
The foam from the midsole creates cushions for outdoor basketball and tennis courts as well as futsal courts.
Fabric from the upper part of the shoe is used in the creation of cushioning pads for indoor basketball and volleyball courts as well as equestrian surfacing products.
The Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program was started in 1990 and since then has recycled more than 22.5 million pairs of old athletic shoes worldwide.
Tuesday was a day set aside so county employees could “Bring their Shoes to Work” day, depositing them in special bins at the Mo‘ikeha Building. They also had an opportunity to earn premiums by filling out entry blanks when depositing the old shoes.
For more information, visit the county Web site at www.kauai.gov, or call the recycling office at 241-4841.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or email@example.com
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