Like many schools in the United States, Van Avery Prep decided years ago to install an artificial turf athletic field. Artificial turf fields are great for consistent performance and the fact they require no water. However, artificial sports turf fields have come under scrutiny. While the artificial turf itself has been lauded, the recycled tire generally referred to as crumb rubber – a historical hallmark of the sustainability of such fields (after all, everyone can appreciate recycling on such a massive scale) – is now the subject of investigations regarding its potential risks.
Crumb rubber infill is used in sports fields around the world. It’s an idea once heralded as an ingenious recycling effort. Rather than send old tires to the landfill, they are instead ground into tiny pieces. These cheap pieces of rubber work great as an artificial sports field infill in terms of providing impact attenuation. Since crumb rubber is made from tire scraps, the black-color infill tends to detract from the natural beauty of turf fields on which it is installed.
In response, Purchase Green began developing a new system for sporting use that looked more natural and stayed cooler while still providing excellent impact attenuation.