Guest Column - July 2010
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Sports and Playground Surfaces

No Risk From Tire Crumb

By Brad Pittam

Safe and Sound

The improved function and long-lasting characteristics of recycled rubber bring unparalleled quality and performance to recreational applications. And, the use of recycled rubber provides the added benefit of environmental stewardship.

Synthetic turf fields made of crumb rubber save money and the environment by conserving as much as 50,000 gallons of water per week during the peak growing season, and by avoiding the use of dangerous herbicides and pesticides.

Recycled rubber mulch for landscaping and playground safety surfacing saves time and money by reducing the number of applications. Rubber mulch does not erode, rot or attract mold and insects. And, recycled rubber mulch saves millions of trees from the shredder.

For athletes, crumb rubber additive increases the resiliency of a field, improves drainage and enables better grass root structure. On playgrounds, a six-inch layer of rubber mulch can cushion a child's fall from as high as 12 feet—compared with six feet for wood mulch.

Though concern on the part of parents and government officials is natural, the overwhelming amount of scientific evidence expresses broad support for the EPA's conclusion that recycled rubber does not negatively affect people's health or the environment.

And the numerous benefits of recycled rubber have become indispensable.

Recreational facilities depend on innovative, high-performance products—and crumb rubber is a material that's proven reliable and proven safe.


Brad Pittam is the general manager of LTR Products, a Libertyville, Ill.-based subsidiary of Liberty Tire Recycling, the largest provider of tire recycling services in the United States. Pinnacle Rubber Mulch, introduced to the marketplace by LTR Products in 2009, offers a viable, eco-friendly alternative to traditional wood mulch. For more information, please visit