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30 Jun 2009

Trafalgar Park turf replacement a sustainable venture

Preparations begin this week to replace Trafalgar Park's turf with a sustainable, user friendly material to enhance drainage: recycled glass made into sand-like particles.

Council determined there were several benefits to choosing recycled glass over sand, the more common material for construction of sports fields.

Using recycled glass saves on Council's budget for the project because natural supplies of sand that meet the specific grading and chemical composition required for sport stadiums are becoming very rare and have a higher cost. As supplies of natural sand become dwindle, future turf dressing and maintenance costs are likely to increase. With glass sand, there is an almost guaranteed supply.

Using recycled glass sand also saves the natural sand that would have to be taken from New Zealand river beds to carpet the turf.

Users will not notice a difference as to how the field performs during sports events because recycled glass mimics the benefits of sand over a traditional soil turf, which Trafalgar Park now has. The new turf will allow rainfall to drain quickly from the grass carpet above it into a subsoil drainage system.

Council is preparing to bring from Christchurch to Nelson approximately 2,800 tonnes of the material to start turf replacement, which will carry on over a number of months.

Clr Pete Rainey, Community Services Committee Chair says, "The sheer quantity of recycled glass that will be used at Trafalgar Park really brings home how much we could have taken from our natural resources. Using a recycled material that performs just the same as a sand turf is a great find and testament to Council's ongoing dedication to respect our natural surroundings."

Consultants Opus recommended the idea to Council, and requested an analysis be done by the New Zealand Sport Turf Institute.

The recycled glass sand will start to be stockpiled this week behind the Pavilion and full installation will begin in September following the end of the Makos season. Council expects the new turf to be in place with grass growing by Christmas.