Nike has found a way to keep millions of old worn out athletic shoes from littering the earth by recycling them into new basketball courts, tracks, tennis courts and such. And did you know Nike has a goal of waste elimination? That's elimination, not just reduction! Here's a quote from their site:
Aspiring toward our long-term goals of waste elimination and increasing physical activity in youth around the world led us to focus on one of the achievable ways to close the loop on a product's lifecycle. That is, rather than throwing away old products, we want to use them to make new products — in this case, sports and play surfaces to help kids get active.
Nike takes the shoes apart and grinds up the parts which are then used to create new sports surfaces, like soccer and football fields, basketball and tennis courts, tracks and playground surfacing. They use all brands of shoes to do this, not just their own.
To donate your old shoes you just need to find a drop off location. There are locations all over the USA, the UK, Australia and Japan! If there's not one near you there is also the option of mailing in your old shoes. Check their website by clicking the title of this post. On the left you'll find links to the different countries and interactive maps to drop off locations.