Dubuque Girl Scouts troop recycles hundreds of shoes - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque Girl Scouts troop recycles hundreds of shoes

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Girl Scouts in troop 7004 stand in front of their then-empty shoe recycling bins in October Girl Scouts in troop 7004 stand in front of their then-empty shoe recycling bins in October
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

One Dubuque Girl Scouts troop collected hundreds of pairs of athletic shoes to return to Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program for recycling.

Troop 7004's initial goal was to acquire 1,000 pairs of used shoes. Wednesday night, they met to count and box them all up. The final count put them at 907 pairs.

14 girls make up the troop. They are in fourth and fifth grade at Carver Elementary School, their leader Julie Keck said.

To collect the shoes, the girls reached out to families at Dubuque's Carver, Hoover and Irving elementary schools. They placed a colorful recycling bin at each location.

Additionally, Keck said, the girls went door-to-door, asking for old shoes.

The troop is sending the boxed shoes to Nike, which Keck said will, "recycle them into cool new things such as basketball courts. It really is a neat collaboration with Nike and really awesome that they could use every part of the old tennis shoe."

Before boxing up the shoes for shipment Wednesday night, the girls had some fun, using the footwear to form a giant peace sign and also the number "100," in honor of the Girl Scouts of America's century mark.

Troop leaders Keck and Melanie Offerman said the girls are working toward the Bronze Award, which is the highest honor bestowed to Junior Girl Scouts.

"Our girls are really interested in helping the environment so we knew we wanted to choose a project with an environmental slant," Keck said.

"The girls are so excited and hopeful they will be able to achieve this Girl Scout award," Offerman said.

Through Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe Program, each athletic shoe is broken down into three parts: rubber from the outsole, foam from the mid sole and fabric fibers from the upper.

Each of these parts is ground up into raw material. The outsole rubber is used for the surface of running tracks, the foam is used under basketball courts and the fabric fibers are used for tennis courts.

To learn more about Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program, click HERE.

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