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Capitol Hill Helps Turn Shoes into Sports Surfaces

Jul 18, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (18 July 2007) - Campaigning took on a whole new meaning during June as five House Members squared off, not over control of the House, but over collecting old sneakers.

Participating in Nike and the National Recycling Coalition's Capitol Hill Reuse-A-Shoe Challenge, the Oregon House delegation competed to collect as many worn-out athletic shoes as possible. These shoes will be recycled and turned into sports and play surfaces around the world.

Congressman Peter DeFazio was this year's winner, with his office collecting a record number of nearly 689 pairs of sneakers. Congressman DeFazio received a donation in his name that will go to a nonprofit organization of his choice to help get kids more physically active. The runner-up this year was the office of Congressman Greg Walden, with 473 pairs of shoes.

"Reuse-A-Shoe connects our long-term commitments of developing innovative ways of eliminating waste and promoting the physical activity of young people," said Orson Porter, Deputy Director of Government Relations, Nike. "Capitol Hill has proven to be an excellent partner in our efforts to create new places for kids to play and be active. We thank the Oregon delegation for leading this effort."

"I'm proud that the 4th congressional district has regained its title in this year's Reuse-a-Shoe Challenge," DeFazio said.  "It's tough work collecting, sorting and boxing ripe, well-used shoes in the heat of summer, but the staff and the community just ran with it.  We hope to have the office aired out soon."

"I want to thank Nike and the National Recycling Coalition for organizing the Reuse-a-Shoe Challenge," DeFazio continued.  "This program is a great example of where the rubber meets the road in promoting both physical fitness and recycling.  Nike will process the shoes into Nike Grind which will be used to create high-quality sport surfaces of many different kinds. Nike will donate athletic equipment to encourage kids in the 4th Congressional District to be physically active." 

The drive brought out the full participation from all members of the Oregon House Delegation with Rep. Peter DeFazio, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Darlene Hooley, Rep. Greg Walden and Rep. David Wu breaking last year's record, collecting over 1,300 pairs of shoes this year. Congressional offices employed grassroots tactics, offering cookies, doughnuts and cheers of support in recognition of shoe donations.

"The National Recycling Coalition has collected nearly a quarter of a million shoes for Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program - deriving enough Nike Grind material to create more than 20 tracks. Our partnership with Nike gives NRC members the opportunity to expand what can be collected through community recycling programs," said Kate Krebs, executive director of the National Recycling Coalition. "I'm proud to report that Reuse-A-Shoe collection sites are now located within 15 miles of 37 percent of the U.S. population."

About National Recycling Coalition

Founded in 1978, the National Recycling Coalition, Inc. (NRC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization representing all the diverse interests committed to the common goal of maximizing recycling to achieve the benefits of resource conservation, solid waste reduction, environmental protection, energy conservation, and social and economic development. Its 4,000 members include recycling and environmental organizations; large and small businesses; federal, state and local governments; and individuals. The NRC is dedicated to the advancement and improvement of recycling, and also source reduction, composting and reuse, by providing technical information, education, training, outreach and advocacy services to its members in order to conserve resources and benefit the environment. For additional information about the NRC, please visit

About Nike Reuse-A-Shoe

Reuse-A-Shoe is an integral part of Nike's community investment program called Let Me Play, which is helping to unleash young people's potential through sport. . Since the Reuse-A-Shoe program began in 1993, Nike has recycled more than 19 million pairs of athletic shoes and helped donate more than 250 sport surfaces to communities around the world. The surfaces use Nike Grind material as a component of the total surface composition, representing an approximate number of recycled shoes in each surface. Kids win because many of these sports surfaces are donated in communities where they wouldn't otherwise have access to high-performance sports surfaces. It's also a win for the environment, as thousands of pairs of athletic shoe material are diverted from landfills. For more information about Nike Reuse-A-Shoe, including a list of organizations participating in the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe program, visit -

NIKE, Inc. based in Beaverton, Oregon is the world's leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities.