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Students want new gov't agency to recycle old shoes
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Students at a middle school in Beijing issued a call Saturday for the creation of a new agency to oversee the recycling of discarded shoes.

Students at the No. 35 Middle School conducted a survey on recycling depots and the recycling habits of the country's residents and released the results on Saturday at the Beijing Youth Science Creation Competition, according to a report by the Beijing News.

Millions of shoes are discarded in the country every year. A typical family discards about 5.17 pairs of shoes annually, according to the students' survey. It also estimates that the country's 200 million families throw away more than one billion pairs of old shoes each year. At present, no national government agency is responsible for the recycling of old shoes.

Materials used to make shoes such as rubber or synthetics are not naturally degradable and add a heavy burden to the country's efforts to clean up the environment. The survey recommends that the government take immediate action to see that discarded shoes are recycled properly.

(CRI March 24, 2008)

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