The TurfMuncher's patent-pending reclamation process allows owners to have their old fields reused or recycled instead of sending them to the landfill.
Synthetic turf field reclamation machine
The TurfMuncher’s patent-pending reclamation process allows owners to have their old fields reused or recycled instead of sending them to the landfill. Manufacturer FieldAway says according to industry estimates there are approximately 6,000 third-generation synthetic turf fields containing sand and/or rubber infill in North America alone. Existing synthetic turf fields in Europe probably account for more than twice that number. These fields represent a significant amount of material that ultimately must be removed and disposed of in some manner.
Since most turf manufacturers warrant the useful lives of their products for 8-10 years, it is estimated that as many as 2,500 synthetic fields will be either removed or reclaimed in North America in the next 5 years and up to 1,000 fields will be removed annually over the following 5 years.
The typical installed field area is approximately 80,000 square feet and weighs around 8 pounds per square foot, with the turf weighing .5 lbs./sq. ft. and the sand/rubber infill 7.5 lbs./sq.ft. This means that each field averages 320 tons of material that must be either removed for disposal or reclaimed for recycling. The potential environmental effect of this material working its way to our landfills is disturbing.
After TurfMuncher reclamation, turf recycling options include reuse of the field in other settings, conversion to energy, and use for molded parts. Reuse options include practice fields, batting cages, driving ranges, residential and commercial work areas, and dog runs, as well as landscaping and erosion prevention applications. Sand and rubber infill recycling opportunities include reuse on other sports fields, in various construction projects, and for landscaping or soil treatments. FieldAway says as commercial channels continue to develop, the value of these materials will continue to increase and become more marketable.