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Elementary finds new uses for old shoes

Photo by adsfad

Photo by adsfad

DACULA -- In three days, students at Fort Daniel Elementary have donated nearly 400 pairs of shoes in the school's Nike Reuse-a-Shoe drive.

The shoe drive, which ends Friday, is the school's major recycling campaign for the year, said Ashley Jones, the PTA's environmental committee chair.

The collected shoes will be ground up and separated into three types of material: rubber, foam and fabric. The granulated rubber will create soccer, baseball and football fields, weight room flooring and running tracks. The granulated foam will be used in synthetic basketball courts, tennis courts and playground surfacing tiles. The granulated fabric becomes the padding under hardwood basketball floors.

"Since kids outgrow (shoes) so quickly, they all had something to contribute," Jones said. "It's a nice way to get them aware of reusing."

Since the drop-off location can only accept 200 pairs of shoes at a time, Jones said she plans to donate the gently used shoes -- and any shoes that contain materials that cannot be recycled through the Reuse-a-Shoe program -- to a local women's shelter and other nonprofit organizations that can use them. None of the shoes will be thrown away, she said.

"We're trying to do this because we know it will be better for the Earth," said Jones' daughter, Sydney.