More than 15,300 used athletic shoes collected in Tempe over the last year were shipped Tuesday to be recycled for their next life as sports and playground surfaces. This is Tempe's second collection effort, surpassing the first shipment in 2008 of 15,000 shoes, according to a city statement.
Tempe, in partnership with the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program and Arizona Recycling Coalition, invited the community to collect used athletic shoes, which are recycled, ground up and used in the creation of new sports and playground surfaces, according to the statement.
Tempe's collected shoes will go to the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe recycling center in Memphis, Tenn., where they will be processed into a material called Nike Grind. The product is then used by Nike's licensed partner companies for creating athletic surfaces, such as tennis and basketball courts.
Tempe will continue collecting shoes as part of its overall recycling efforts, with 11 permanent locations where anyone can drop off shoes, including Jaycee Park, 817 W. Fifth St.; Tempe Public Library, 3500 S. Rural Road; and Westside Multigenerational Center, 715 W. Fifth St.