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Pittsburgh Park Protects Turf With 
Crumb Rubber

Thirty-seven tons of crumb rubber were recently applied to one acre of new turf installed at the Point State Park, Pittsburgh, PA. The crumb rubber was applied as top dressing using a patented method and technology developed by Michigan State University and marketed under the Crown III label by patent licensee holder Jai Tire Inc., Denver, CO.

The crumb rubber was installed by Dan Eichenlaub Landscaping Co. in a heavily used area of the park commonly known as the "finish line area" where Pittsburgh's marathon, the Great Race, and several charity walks end.

"The crumb rubber top dressing is designed to protect the crowns of the grass and absorb some of the shock and weight of the park's pedestrian traffic, " Eichenlaub said. In addition, using crumb rubber as a top dressing has been shown to reduce the amount of resodding required, thus reducing costs. Less watering is required and it has been shown to provide a longer grass-growing season, Eichenlaub said.

AgRecycle, Inc., Cheswick, PA supplied the crumb rubber which was prepared using a cryogenic process to freeze size reduced tire chips and grind the embrittled chips into 3/8" fiber and steel-free granules for use as top dressing or as an ingredient in other products and applications.

The project is being financed by a $50,000 state grant to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and is part of a state Department of Environmental Protection initiative to promote the use of scrap tires and scrap tire derived rubber in recreation sites. Other recycling projects, such as making crowd-control fencing and signs from recycled tire rubber, are being considered also.

"There's a bigger goal here," Eichenlaub said. "This is an opportunity to use products that demonstrate that tires have a viable use," he said. 

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