UConn Sneaker Recycling Program
Recycle Those Old Sneakers!
Sneaker Recycling 2011
Collection of sneakers for recycling in Nike's Reuse a Shoe program is underway! Drop off locations can be found in many residence halls on campus as well as at upcoming events like Oozeball and Earth Day Spring Fling!
2010 was a record breaking year for sneaker collection with over 3 tons of sneakers being shipped back to Nike for recycling!
This year, sneakers were collected at 4 different UConn campuses (Storrs, UConn Health Center, Hartford, Waterbury) and there were over 30 drop-off collections on the Storrs campus alone. We also joined ranks with the Division of Athletics to offer sneaker recycling at the February Green Game Day at Gampel Pavilion.
Towards the end of the Spring semester, the EcoHusky Program at the University of Connecticut works with the Department of Residential Life, UConn Division of Athletics, the Student Athletic Advisory Council (SAAC), the EcoHusky Student Group and Willimantic Waste to collect unwanted sneakers from members of the campus and local community. Collection bins are placed in the athletic facilities and at predetermined locations throughout campus.
At the conclusion of each spring semester, the sneakers are donated by Willimantic Waste to the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program to be converted to new surfaces such as running tracks and playgrounds. For more information on this program please contact the Office of Environmental Policy at (860) 486-5773
What kind of sneakers can be donated?
All brands of athletic shoes, as long as they don’t contain any metal (no flip-flops, sandals, pumps, dress shoes or boots).
Where are the drop-off locations?
Drop-off locations are located at the following locations:
- Student Recreation Facility (main lobby)
- UConn Co-Op
- Student Union (by the ATM machines)
- 22 residence hall locations
- Alumni, Buckley, McMahon, Northwest, South, Towers, and Whitney Dining Halls
- Charter Oak & Hilltop Community Centers
- Mansfield Apartments laundry room
- Student Union
- Field House (in the lobby near the blue gym)
- Varsity locker rooms in the field house (in hallways between locker rooms)
A campus-wide sneaker recycling program was launched at the University of Connecticut during the Spring 2005 semester. The program was established through an expansion of existing Nike Reuse-A-Shoe efforts at the University of Connecticut. Throughout the history of the program, the Athletic Department has been a critical driver behind the program's success. The sneakers collected are recycled in order to be reused in new running tracks, athletic surfaces, and community playgrounds throughout the United States. The program benefits the environment, as thousands of pairs of athletic shoe material is diverted from landfills.
Above: A sign from a previous sneaker recycling event.
Related News Articles:
EcoHusky brings Sneaker Recycling back to Storrs
(Daily Campus -- March 3, 2010)
Tons of sneakers
(Journal Inquirer -- April 4, 2006)
(Daily Campus -- April 3, 2006)
Mount Sneaker to be Recycled
(Uconn Daily Campus -- April 25, 2005)
Used Sneakers Sought for Recycling Program
(UConn Advance -- April 11, 2005)
Running to Recycle
(UConn Daily Campus - April 1, 2005)
Success Stories from
Past Sneaker Recycling Drives:
Sneaker Recycling 2009
March 1- April 22
Willimantic Waste shipped the 4,800 lbs. of sneakers off to Nike after the largest Mt. Sneaker to date was displayed on Earth Day 2009. Multiple regional campuses joined in the effort this year with the UConn Health Center leading the way. Stamford, Avery Point, and the Law School also added their fair share of sneakers. There were also as number of external groups who contributed which included E.O. Smith High School, East Windsor Middle School, Pine Grove Elementary Outreach, Babson Capital Management, Northeast Utilities, and the Northwest Village School. The success of the drive was due to the help and support from all these groups and also some student volunteers from SAAC and Ecohusky.
Mt. Sneaker was in a new location this year down in the midst of all the excitement and the sneaker dumpster was overflowing. It looks like we’ll need an even bigger dumpster for next year.
Sneaker Recycling 2008
March 19- May 5, 2008
UConn did it again! For the fourth year in a row, the Sneaker
Recycling effort was able to surpass its goal and raise the bar for
next year's collection. During 2008, Leah Giffin, OEP Intern and Sneaker
Recycling Coordinator, set a goal for the University to collect 4,000
pounds of sneakers. The UConn community watched as the mountain grew and
surpassed this goal, with a huge lift from the UConn Health Center in
Farmington, which enthusiastically participated for the first time this
year and added 1,500 pounds to the pile! The law school In Hartford also helped to make this extraordinary two-ton Mt. Sneaker possible.
The mountain was displayed during the first annual Earth Day Spring Fling, outside Gampel Pavillion. EcoHusky and UConn athletes volunteered their time to help promote this event as well as hand out information to by standers. An educational display provided information on the “Life of a Shoe” and the sneaker recycling process. Sample grind material was also displayed. The display proved how everyday items can easily be recycled, diverting a large amount of waste from landfills, and then in turn reusing these materials in a beneficial way, such as athletic surfacing.
Sneaker Recycling 2007
March 19- May 5, 2007
During the spring of 2007, UConn worked hard to collect more sneakers than ever, creating the largest Mt. Sneaker in UConn’s history! (That is until the phenomenal success of the 2008 program; see summary above!) The collection bins were placed in residential halls, academic buildings, dining halls, and the Athletic and Rec facilities.
These recycled sneakers are used for synthetic tracks, playground surfaces, tennis courts, and field turfs. In cooperation with Nike Reuse-a-shoe, the National Recycling Coalition, and our very own Willimantic Waste, we hope to make every year an even bigger success than the past. All the collections are used to build Mt. Sneaker, outside of Gampel Pavilion during our annual Earth Day celebration.
University of Connecticut, Storrs
University of Connnecticut, Avery Point
University of Connecticut, Hartford
Newtown High School, Sandy Hook, CT
Tuttle Elementary School, East Haven, CT
Sneaker Recycling 2006
On April 21, 2006, the UConn Sneaker Recycling Program celebrated its second annual Mt. Sneaker and Sneaker Recycling Expo!
Sneakers were collected throughout the spring prior to the date and were piled high in a dumpster outside of Gampel Pavilion while volunteers educated passers-by about the program and how to get involved.
Above: University of Connecticut senior Emily Maugeri
shows some of the sneakers that have been collected
for a recycling project.
(Photo Credit: Leslloyd F. Alleyne Jr. / Journal Inquirer)
"Every year we want this program to get bigger and more successful. This year we've already collected more than twice the amount of sneakers as we did the first year, and we still have a few weeks left!"
~ Emily Maugeri, OEP Intern &
Mount Sneaker Coordinator, Spring 2006
Sneaker Recycling 2005
The Mt. Sneaker and Sneaker Recycling Expo in 2005 were a huge success hanks to student athlete volunteers from the women's soccer team, the football team, track and field teams, women's basketball team, and women's rowing team. Individuals who donated a pair of sneakers during the event were thanked for their involvement with signatures from the athletes as well as free t-shirts and hats courtesy of the UConn Division of Athletics.
Click here to return to the
Recycling & Waste Reduction Workgroup Webpage
Page last updated 09/24/08