Feature Article - February 2012
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Greener Grass Awaits

Environmental & Fiscal Responsibility Team Up in Synthetic Turf

By Tammy York

Working on Recycling

The Town of Lexington, Mass., has fields that have reached the end of their 10-year lifespan. The original fields included an eight-year warranty and the city invested in an additional two-year warranty. The finance committee was educated and reminded about the eventual need to replace the fields and that there would likely be a need for improvements as well.

The three fields are used for high school field hockey, lacrosse and soccer, as well as youth soccer and youth field hockey. In the springtime, the fields are also used for baseball and softball team tryouts. In order to avoid taking the entire budgetary hit at once, the three fields were ranked in order of usage from heaviest to lightest. The first field in the complex is the most heavily used, with both organized and pickup games, and therefore is slated for the first replacement.

"We are seeing if we can reuse the infill, and we are looking for places that will take the carpet instead of sending it to a landfill," said David Pinsonneault, CSFM, CPRP, operation manager for the City of Lexington. "Our infill is a sand and rubber mix. If we can reclaim that, we should be able to save 20 to 30 percent. With regard to the carpet, we just want to make sure that it doesn't become waste so we are looking at options for recycling. We don't anticipate savings, but for us it is more about the environmental impact."

The synthetic turf fields help shift activities away from the natural grass fields and that takes the pressure off of the natural grass fields. This allows for Pinsonneault's team to steadily improve the natural grass fields.