The Future Needn’t Cost the Earth
“Rubber is one of the most useful materials of the modern era and helped spawn the industrial revolution. It is prized in industry for its strength, elasticity, and wear-resistance. Unfortunately, rubber also represents one of the most difficult recycling problems ever encountered. One of the biggest pollution problems in this country is scrap tires. Although it’s easy to collect, it’s difficult to recycle. It’s chemically cross-linked, and those links will not melt and will not dissolve”
Professor Richard Farris of the University of Massachusetts
For many years now recycling sites have existed that can handle pneumatic tyres by chopping them into pieces but as they will contain metals and fibres they are sold for a variety of scrap uses including equine arenas and landfill engineering. However, until now the solid rubber tyres (without metals or fibres), such as those found on fork lift trucks etc., have presented a problem as the rubber is too expensive to recover for scrap use.
The Government has rightly outlawed sending this solid rubber to land fill and instead provides support and funding for routes to market through their WRAP organisation. Some of this funding has enabled us to fully develop a unique and cost-effective manufacturing process to deal with the ever increasing mountain of solid rubber which threatens the living conditions of future generations.
Investment in efficient technology has not only given us the capacity to manage their targeted waste in the UK but ensures that there is nothing resulting from our production plant which needs to be removed for landfill. Large shreds are used to produce the EcoScape® mulch & finer shreds for SoftBond® & chunks for Eco-Subbase materials. Any residual material including wheel casings are then able to enter existing recycling procedures.
Since the finished product is intended for use in childrens play places much attention has been devoted to safety and quality of the play experience and therefore the EcoScape® brand carries some unique qualities to ensure it is effective and safe for use in sensitive areas:
- The loose shreds are comfortable to walk on and ADA compliant for wheelchair access.
- The SoftBond® range of systems have been tested in accordance with BSEN1177:2008.
- Flammability tested (including BS5852) and classified as low char.
EcoScape® products have benefited many private homes, councils and hotels; and has been specified in sensitive applications including those organised by the ‘Watch us grow’ and ‘Disability challenge’ campaigns, and we have cooperated on community good will projects with corporations such as AXA and Barclays. EcoScape® is also a member of ROSPA and additionally EcoScape® has been recognised by the Green Flag Schools programme and the use of our products has helped schools achieve their gold flag status.
To highlight some of the technical benefits of the product we are registered with the HTA and are active members of GIMA.
As a responsible supplier we also consider the small daily things that may make a difference; careful selection of the type of paper we use and the utilisation of modern technology to reduce our travel wherever possible. However if we are to continue our work we need to ensure that our business is sustainable; According to SEEDA:
“A Sustainable Business is a successful and profitable business. It is one that continuously improves its productivity by taking action on the economic, social and environmental impacts of its business.
That means a Sustainable Business takes a sustainable approach to what it produces, how it buys and sells, how it affects the environment, where it invests, how it recruits, trains and develops its own people, how it engages with the community in which it operates and how it respects the rights of people.”