By Nick Gilbert
Turf Reclamation Services has devised a novel solution for the removal and recycling of artificial turf, an emerging concern in the United States with approximately 31,000 fields to be replaced in the coming 25 years.
Soccer Field Removal at University of Cincinnati by Turf Reclamation Services. (PRNewsFoto/Turf Reclamation Services)
The solution involves a new tool to cut and roll the turf carpet and a novel recycling process to remove the infill and recycle the carpet. Thus the field replacement is no more a complex process for organizations, contractors and architects owning the fields.
Using its years of experience in artificial turf, Turf Reclamation Services has devised a unique equipment that enables easier removal of the field without causing severe disruption to the base. The tool comprises the Wrangler, a self-propelled drive unit, and two accessories to reclaim the field. The Viper accessory cuts the turf into convenient 45" ribbons, which are then rolled tightly using the second accessory called the SideWinder. It is easier to load these rolled ribbons for transport. Separate equipment called the Rattlesnake is used to extract and supersack the material directly on site. The prototype Rattlesnake has been demonstrated on multiple fields and the commercial version is anticipated to be introduced in late 2012.
The removed turf and infill can be used in different ways. The turf can be recycled as new products, including as synthetic turf infill, and reused into a secondary market. The sand infill and rubber can be repurposed on the project or purified, sieved and isolated for upcoming synthetic turf projects.
Turf Reclamation Services manages the whole recycling process and ensures proper handling and processing of field elements by providing a Certified Chain of Custody.