Members of the University’s EcoHusky student group and the Office of Environmental Policy are rolling out the barrels again
to collect hundreds of old, tired, dirty – and most likely smelly – sneakers, as part of the National Recycling Coalition and the Nike Reuse-a-Shoe program.
Last year, faculty, staff, and
students donated 1,900 pounds
of recyclable shoes, says Emily Maugeri, a student worker in the Office of Environmental Policy.
This year, they’ve set their sights on collecting more than one ton.
“It’s a great program,” says Maugeri.
“It’s fun, it benefits the environment by diverting large amounts of shoes from the trash, and it benefits the community by providing recycled material for new running tracks, athletic surfaces, and community playgrounds.”
The new Burton Family
Football Complex and Mark R. Shenkman Training Facility is an example of such recycling: The facility will have synthetic athletic surfaces composed of recycled shoe parts.
Collections have begun, and
the drop-off sites will be in place until the end of the semester in residence halls, athletic facilities, Homer Babbidge Library, the UConn Co-op, the Student Union, and various academic buildings.
Any brand or style of athletic shoe is welcome, but the group cannot accept shoes with metal cleats, sandals, dress shoes, or boots.
Anyone in the University or local community may participate.
The height of fashion - or at the very least, of footwear - will mount up April 21with the collection of old sneakers for a national recycling program. Shown here are some of the old sneakers collected during the 2005 effort.
|Photo by Jordan Bender
On April 21, the day before Earth Day, the collection to that point will be showcased during a Sneaker Recycling Expo, and the construction of “Mount Sneaker” outside the north entrance of Gampel Pavilion.
The expo will include educational displays about the sneaker recycling process and the benefits of recycling, and promotional items for those who donate.
Other exhibits will promote environmental programs such as composting, biodiesel energy, and fuel-efficient cars.
Since its inception in 1993, the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program has recycled more than 13 million pairs of shoes, which has helped create more than 170 athletic courts, tracks fields and playground surfaces in communities around the world.
UConn’s Department of Residential Life, the Division of Athletics, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and Willimantic Waste help coordinate the program.