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updated: 1/20/2012 2:12 PM

Recycle Your Old Athletic Shoes

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Jackie Soccorso

The Village of Wauconda is proud to continue its partnership with the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) in the athletic shoe recycling and reuse program. The program has been going strong for eight years. Athletic shoes are among the most popular types of shoes purchased today and millions of them, in addition to other types of shoes, end up in our landfills each year.

Last year, SWALCO collected and transported more than 30,000 athletic shoes for recycling. Additionally, thousands of gently worn shoes of all types were donated to local charities, including Illinois' own Share Your Soles Foundation. Old athletic shoes of any brand, are collected, and either donated to charity or processed and recycled into a material called "Nike Grind." Once SWALCO collects the athletic shoes (sometime after Earth Day each year) from their school, community and business partners, they transport them to Nike's facility to become "grind." This material is then be used to create sports surfaces like basketball courts, tennis courts, athletic fields, running tracks and playgrounds that will be enjoyed by children of all ages, for many years to come.

Individuals or families with just a few athletic shoes they'd like to recycle from their home can stop by one of the year-round drop-off locations listed below:

Wauconda Village Hall, 101 N. Main St., Wauconda, IL (847) 526-9600

Wauconda Public Library, 801 N Main St., Wauconda, IL (847) 526-6225

Wauconda Public Works, 302 Slocum Lake Rd., Wauconda, IL (847) 526-9610

Wauconda District #118 Schools

Wauconda Federated Church, 200 Barrington Rd., Wauconda, IL (847) 526-8471

Wauconda Park District, 600 N. Main Street, Wauconda, IL (847) 526-3610

Groups who have a larger number of shoes or would like to collect should not drop off at these sites but should contact SWALCO directly at 847-336-9340 ext 4 or visit Groups can register to collect any number of athletic shoes, as well as gently worn shoes of all types for donation.

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