Photo: Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons
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Students join sneaker recycle fundraising effort for turtle rescue

Students from some Long Island schools have joined a campaign that helps the environment and raises money for the Turtle Rescue of the Hamptons.

The national campaign Got Sneakers? aims to help decrease the number of sneakers from ending up in landfills. Students collect used sneakers for recycling and the Turtle Rescue nonprofit earns funds based on the total quantity of donated athletic shoes.

The EPA estimates 200 million to 300 million pairs of shoes are thrown into our landfills each year, contaminating the environment, because sneakers are made with materials that aren’t biodegradable and produce large amounts of CO2.

April Mindlin, sixth grade science teacher at Selden Middle School, is coordinating the sneaker fundraiser in the Middle Country Central School district. Students from Selden Middle School, Dawnwood Middle School in Centereach and Newfield High Schools are participating in the effort, along with students and staff at the Hebrew Academy of Nassau County in Plainview.

“Local involvement for our students is an important community effort to help raise funds to protect indigenous turtle species right here on Long Island,” Mindlin said. “Together we can make a difference.”

Over the past nine years, 1,500 rescued turtles have recovered from their injuries and released into the wild by Turtle Rescue. The turtles were victims of car accidents, lawn mowers, construction, boating accidents and attacks by wildlife or pets. 

“By donating your gently worn, used, and new sneakers, you’ll be helping us rescue, rehabilitate and release turtles,” said Turtle Rescue Founder Karen Testa. “You can drop off your sneakers 24/7 in our collection box outside our headquarters on Manor Lane in Jamesport. We’re so thrilled two schools are joining us in this campaign.”

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