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Artificial Turf’s Next Home? - Source Connection news papers

Posted on Aug 08,2018
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Source Connection news papers

By Peggy McEwan-The Almanac

With Montgomery County Public Schools replacing the first of its artificial fields this summer, disposal of the old material has been called into question.

A copy of an email came to the Almanac a few weeks ago criticizing the removal and disposal of Richard Montgomery High School artificial turf. The person who sent the email refused to be identified in print. But others concerned about the potential environmental damage of improper disposal of the county’s artificial turf fields came forward to question whether the county guidelines were being followed.

Kathleen Michels said she has been following the pros and cons of artificial turf for 10 years and has an arsenal of facts to use in making her case against its use in playing fields.

Now that MCPS is at the point that it needs to replace some of the fields, more issues are involved.

According to Michels in an email: “Turf Reclamation Solutions (TRS) President Mark Heinlein notes that per field: greater than 40,000 pounds of plastic per field and greater than 400,000 pounds of tire waste or other similar synthetic polymer infill per field go mostly to landfills (#1 on the infographic at right). A very little is burned (#2). A little is "repurposed" (#3) as batting cage surfacing for example — but then goes to landfill. Wishful thinking on (#4) — recycling — as noted there — the removal must be carefully and expensively done with sorting of the infill separate from the plastic rug — but even then there is now no market to actually recycle back into synturf carpet (the preferred solution to save natural resources and trash) or into other plastic products.”

Source Connection news papers

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