SOURCE: Rubberecycle


June 05, 2012 08:08 ET

Cabell County Playgrounds Ready for the Winter

Cabell County Says Rubberecycle Rubber Mulch Is a Permanent Solution

LAKEWOOD, NJ--(Marketwire - Jun 5, 2012) - School officials in Cabell County, W. Va, are finally allowing themselves a sigh of relief at the successful resolution of last year's playground debacle.

Following a series of injury-related lawsuits last winter, Cabell County was set to remove swing sets from the playgrounds of 18 public schools. The move was met with a storm of protest from dismayed parents, claiming that in today's litigation-prone society "kids can't even be kids anymore."

For decades, Cabell County's playgrounds have been surfaced with wood mulch, a product believed to be safe at the proper depths. However, wood mulch easily breaks down or gets washed away, and often has to be replaced to meet national safety standards. Particularly during the winter months, the combination of low temperatures and water absorption can lead to a surface with little or no capacity to protect children from common falls.

Cabell County schools safety manager Tim Stewart proposed an upgrade to rubber mulch, a product recognized for superior shock absorbency and impervious to even the most severe weather conditions. Detractors claimed that the switch would be exceedingly expensive, and would require ongoing investments of funds to replace the rubber over the years; manufacturers claimed that the mulch would not have to be replaced for a lifetime.

"So I started thinking, 'is this worth it?'" Stewart said. "It's all taxpayer dollars."

Despite some hesitation, early last March Stewart awarded the contract to Rubberecycle, suppliers of the rubber mulch surfacing currently in place at the White House playground. Installation began in March and April.

Three and a half months into the current school year, with kids throughout the county gleefully bouncing on the new rubber turf, Cabell County is finally prepared to declare a happy conclusion to the entire affair. The new rubber mulch is weather-proof, contained at the proper depth by specially designed rubber curbs, and guaranteed for the next 100 years.

Stewart says that he personally would "be glad to give a glowing review of the product. It has worked out great, and any concern I may have had has turned out to be baseless."

Data gathered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission indicates that nearly half a million school playground related injuries were treated by emergency personnel from 2001-08, the latest year available. Officials in at least six Oklahoma school districts restricted access to playground equipment following the death of a 9-year-old girl, who fell off school playground equipment and hit her head on the turf.

Perhaps the time has come for other school systems to follow Cabell County's lead.

About Rubberecycle:
Rubberecycle introduced top quality rubber surfacing products to the commercial, residential and military markets in 1998. Their playground mulch conforms to all CPSC, ASTM, and IPEMA (The International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association) safety guidelines and is ADA approved. The pioneer in the tire recycling industry, Rubberecycle utilizes the most advanced technology and equipment to recycle tires on site. The resulting playground surfacing is low maintenance, safe for children and comes with a lifetime warranty and is a fantastic "Green Solution" for the safety of our children. 888-436-6846

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