SWALCO directs a shoe recycling and reuse program for Lake County.
Last year we 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. 2013 will be the ninth year that the Agency has sponsored the Reuse-A-Shoe program. Everyone can take part. Individuals or families with just a few athletic shoes they'd like to recycle from their home can stop by one of the drop-off locations, which include places like libraries, park districts, village halls and public works departments. Some drop-off locations operate year-round, while others sites operate on a shorter term basis, usually in the late winter and spring. Groups who have a larger number of shoes or would like to collect should not drop off at these sites but should contact SWALCO. Groups can register to collect any number of athletic shoes, as well as gently worn shoes of all types for donation.
Every year, across the globe, millions of pairs of athletic shoes end up in landfills or disposed of in some other way creating a lot of waste. Much of what we dispose of contains valuable materials that, with a little bit of imagination and ingenuity, could be reused. With the pursuit of sustainability in mind, Nike created a program to recycle worn out athletic shoes and turn them into something new. Old athletic shoes of any brand, are collected, processed and recycled into a material called “Nike Grind”. Once SWALCO collects the athletic shoes (sometime after Earth Day each year) from our school, community and business partners, we transport them to Nike's facility to become "grind". This material will 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. Now that's creative recycling! Scout troops, park districts, schools, libraries, City and Village Departments and administration, as well as corporate and other organizations are all participating in the program.
REGISTER YOUR GROUP - SIGN UP TO BE PART OF THE FUN!
10 Reasons Why Your Group Should Participate
Please contact Merleanne Rampale at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 847336-9340 x 4 if you'd like to be part of the fun and make a difference in your community. All groups must register through her and complete and return an Agreement /Application that will be sent to them with a list of program guidelines. If you are a new group or a new group coordinator you will need to attend an orientation session. Orientation sessions are usually scheduled just after the new year and are generally just under an hour long. Please contact us soon, so you can be sure that you can attend one of these sessions. At the orientaiton, we'll give you a lot of helpful information and some supplies and goodies you'll need to help you begin your collection. If you are a return group, please contact Merleanne for the agreement form and let her know when you will be beginning your next collection. Some groups may decide to do a 1-3 month collection, while others may decide to collect longer. All registered groups will have an opportunity to win eco-friendly prizes and awards and all groups will receive a special certificate.
YEAR-ROUND DROP OFFS
Some groups have offered to act as year round drop-offs for the program for individuals or families who may have a few shoes they would like to drop-off to be recycled. Please drop-off your gym shoes during operating/business hours. If you have more than 12-15 pairs of shoes, please contact SWALCO. These locations are not for large shoe collections. If you wish to collect shoes, please register and participate through SWALCO's program.
Year round drop-offs include:
- Chicagoland Indoor Tennis Association (at these locations):
College Park Athletic Club East, 2223 Half Day Road, Bannockburn, IL
Five Season Sports Club, 1300 Techny Road, Northbrook, IL
Glenbrook Racquet Club, 1801 Janke Drive, Northbrook, IL
North Shore Racquet Club, 2860 Old Willow Road, Northbrook, IL
Northbrook Racquet Club, 2995 Dundee Road, Northbrook, IL
- Fox Lake (Village of):
Lakefront Park, 71 Nippersink Blvd., Fox Lake
Community Center, 23 South Street, Fox Lake
Village Hall, 66 Thillen Dr., Fox Lake
- Hawthorn Woods Park District/Village Hall, 2 Lagoon Dr., Hawthorn Woods, IL (847)438-5500
- Highwood (City of), City Hall, 17 Highwood Avenue, Highwood, IL
- Highland Park, Park District, Recreation Center, 1207 Park Avenue West, Highland Park, IL (847)579-4554
- Mundelein Park & Recreation District, 1401 N. Midlothian Rd., Mundelein, IL (847)566-0650
- Vernon Hills Public Works Department, 490 Greenleaf Dr., Vernon Hills, IL (847) 367-3726
- Vernon Hills Park District, 635 Aspen Dr., Vernon Hills, IL (847) 996-6800
- 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
- Zion-Benton Public Library, 2400 Gabriel Avenue, Zion, IL 60099, (847) 872-4680
- City of Zion Village Hall, 2828 Sheridan Road, Zion, IL 60099 (847)746-4000
- Waukegan Park District (Field House at Hinkston Park) 800 N. Baldwin Ave., Waukegan, IL (847)782-3300
Other schedled drop-offs
Dates these locations will collect shoes is listed after their contact information - you may want to confirm collection dates before you drop off shoes. Look for more sites to be added soon.
- Baxter Credit Untion, 1 Baxter Parkway, Vernon Hills (through May 1st)
- Buffalo Grove Park District, 530 Bernard Dr., Buffalo Grove (through May 1st)
- College of Lake County, Physical Education Center, 19351 W. Washington Street, Grayslake (through May 1st)
- Grayslake Area Public Library, 100 Library Lane, Grayslake (through May 1st)
- Park District of Highland Park, Recreation Center, 1207 Park Ave. West, Highland Park (through May 1st)
- City of Highwood, City Hall, 17 Highwood Ave., Highwood (through May st)
- Lake County Health Department, Lake County Permit Center, 500 Winchester, Libertyville (through May 1st)
- Riverwoods Village Hall, 300 Portwine Road, Riverwoods (through May 1st)
- Round Lake Area Public Library, 906 Hart Rd., Round Lake (through April 30th)
- Vernon Township, 3050 N. Main, Buffalo Grove (1 day only - April 20th from 10:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m.)
- Vernon Area Public Library, 300 Olde Half Day Rd, Lincolnshire (through April 30th)
- Warren-Newport Public Library, 224 N. O'Plaine Road, Gurnee (through April 28th)
2010 Program Adds New Component
Every day more and more people are becoming interested in what they can do to “go green”, live a more sustainable life and help the planet. Part of 'going green' is minimizing the amount of “stuff” going into landfills and that’s something we can all help with. 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.
For the 6th year, SWALCO (Solid Waste Agency of Lake County, IL), has coordinated a gym shoe recycling and reuse program, in an effort to address this issue. An important part of SWALCO’s mission is to educate the public about the importance of recycling and waste reduction, and encourage practices to reduce, reuse and recycle the amount of solid waste we generate. In addition to electronics collections, household chemical waste collections, school education and compost bin sales, this is one of several key programs that is coordinated by the Agency and one that people of all ages can participate in.
Approximately 30,000 worn-out athletic shoes (all brands) were shipped to a Nike processing facility where they will be ground up and turned into new athletic fields, tracks, playgrounds and other sports surfaces. This year, additionally, thousands of gently worn shoes (including gym shoes and all types of footwear) were collected for donation to a local shoe charity. SWALCO delivered about 2500 pairs to “Share Your Soles”, in Alsip, Illinois after the big round-up. This local group has been working for over 10 years to get shoes to people who need them, including areas in the U.S. and many adults and children affected by the tragedy in Haiti. We hope to continue to partner with them and support their important work.
Numerous community groups came together in May to drop-off this record number of shoes for the 2010 program. That's about 35,000 shoes that were kept out of landfills. Schools, scout troops, village and city departments, park districts, libraries, corporations and other community groups from all around the county united in the effort. The Village of Vernon Hills Public Works Department acted as host site for the final collection and drop-off. SWALCO and Vernon Hills Public Works staff worked together to gather, process, package and finally, arrange for the shipping of the shoes. Many past participants returned to be part of this unique and exciting, recycle and reuse program. Several new groups also joined the fun this year.
Those groups who served as 2010 year-round drop-off sites for individuals or families who had a few shoes from their homes they needed to drop-off included: The Gurnee Park District, Vernon Hills Park District, Vernon Hills Public Works Department, Wauconda Village Hall, Wauconda Public Library, Wauconda Public Works Department, Federated Church of Wauconda and Wauconda’s District 118 Schools. In addition, several other organizations acted as Public Drop-Off locations, during the winter/springtime collecting season, most of them, through the end of April. These groups included: The City of Zion, Ela Area Public Library, the Grayslake Area Public Library, Gold’s Gym in Gurnee, Lake Bluff Park District, Lake County Farm Bureau, Mundelein Park District, Park District of Highland Park, Vernon Area Public Library, Warren-Newport Public Library and the Zion-Benton Public Library.
(847) 336-9340 x.4
For more information on the Reuse-A-Shoe program or to find out how your group can participate.
For individuals or families (w/small number of shoes):
Chicagoland Indoor Tennis
Fox Lake Village Hall
Hawthorn Woods/Park District
Hawthorn Woods Village Hall
Highwood City Hall
Highland Park Park District
Mundelein Park District
Vernon Hills Public Works
Vernon Hills Park District
Wauconda Village Hall
Wauconda Public Library
Wauconda Public Works
Wauconda D #118 Schools
Wauconda Fed. Church
Wauconda Park District
Zion-Benton Public Library
City of Zion - Village Hall
Waukegan Park District