Other than collecting and reselling used equipment, does REI collect from the public and recycle old items that would be discarded? Example: Worn bike tires, shoes, camping/hiking/climbing and other sport equipment?
While we are always looking for ways to reduce our waste, at this time REI is not collecting items from customers for recycling. For the vast majority of what we sell, the best outcome is to get usable items into the hands of a nonprofit like Goodwill or a local organization who can extend its life. Outdoor gear and clothing usually performs well at charitable resell shops.
For products that are no longer in useable condition, the only recourse is to look for a local recycling program that can take the material and seek recycling options. Some brands we partner with provide ‘take-back’ programs for their products; you could check the brand’s website to see if this option is available.
Additionally, REI has partnered with Goodwill and their Give Back Box program. If you have useable items, you can print a shipping label and send the package to Goodwill at no cost to you.
Lastly, REI has a very comprehensive library of online care and repair advice that can help get a product back in usable condition. You can check it out here.
I hope this helps, thanks for the question and for thinking sustainably!
At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well lived.