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Reuse-A-Shoe almost tied up with goal

Reuse-A-Shoe organizers are nearing their goal of collecting 5,000 pairs of shoes — but they’re not quite there yet.

“We’re about 95 percent there,” said Terri Washburn of Kitsap County Public Works.

Kitsapers still have time to donate their used athletic shoes to the program.

The collection is being sponsored by Kitsap County Public Works and Leadership Kitsap who have joined forces with Nike and the National Recycling Coalition. The goal is to collect the 5,000 pairs and then have them ground into a Nike Grind play surface that could possibly be installed at Silverdale Waterfront Park. In March, organizers applied for a $20,000 grant from Nike that, if recieved, would ensure the placement of the Nike Grind surface. If they don’t receive the grant (there’s only two in the nation) then organizers will go back and think through what the next step will be, according to Washburn. Nike will announce the winners of the grant on April 22.

“We’ll have to go back and look,” she said. “We may have to resize the area, it may only be a portion or maybe just the fall zone. This was a waste reduction project. The grant with the playground is a bonus, it’s the icing on the cake.”

The Silverdale Waterfront Park was chosen as the ideal location for the Nike Grind surface for its visibility, use and central location, according to Washburn.

Reuse-A-Shoe collection bins can be found at various locations throughout the county until April 21.

Schools throughout Kitsap County also have been helping out with the program by collecting shoes.

“The school program is just going gangbusters,” Washburn said.

The program will culminate April 22-24 in the Kitsap Mall parking lot. Shoes also can be dropped off then. Local volunteers will be under the big top in the parking lot to get the shoes ready for shipment. They will remove all metal parts on the shoes, including eyelets and will untie the shoe laces. Then it’s off to Nike with the donated shoes.

For more information and for a list of Reuse-A-Shoe drop-off locations, visit the program’s Web site at www.kitsapreuseashoe.org.

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