What is rubber tire mulch, and why are schools, parks, daycares, and churches choosing to remove it? Our CEO did an interview recently that discusses everything from the origins of the product to how and why it’s being removed, to what playground rubber mulch is non-toxic and wire-free.
In the video you’ll learn:
- Potential drawbacks of rubber tire mulch
- Who’s making the the initial product and why that matters
- The difference between pre-consumer and post-consumer rubber
- How to safely remove the product
- Average cost to remove rubber tire mulch
- Why natural replacements like wood mulch are not an effective solution
- How Jelly Bean non-tire non-wire virgin rubber mulch is replacing it effectively
- What to do if you need to remove rubber tire mulch today
Here is a transcript of the above video for your reference:
Clark: [00:00:00] Hey Clark here with Nic Campesi, Nic how are you?
Nic: [00:00:02] Hey Clark, how are you?
Clark: [00:00:03] Doing great Nic. I’ve been seeing a lot more stories in the news about rubber mulch removal. Can you give me an idea of why schools parks and private businesses are removing rubber mulch more now than ever?
Nic: [00:00:18] Well, what you’re starting to see I mean in the last few years really there’s been a lot of traction in the media on the potential drawbacks here of tire mulch. And you know what what’s happening is you know there’s they’re starting to see the coating comes off the stuff kind of breaks down and you’ve got kids running around with black tire dust. And you know the guys who are compounding tires they’re certainly not thinking about kids well-being when they’re making a tire. They’re worried about making a good quality tire so people are starting to become aware of the things that are in tires probably not being the best idea for kids to be rolling around in them.
Clark: [00:01:02] Sure. And what with rubber mulch removal what are the steps to actually removing it off the playground? I mean I know you don’t actually do it yourself but give me an idea of roughly what’s involved in it?
Nic: [00:01:13] Well you know and I’m really just speaking from experience because we’re fielding multiple calls per day of people who are calling asking us about this. And you know typically you’ve got to identify OK what we have to get rid of and what are we going to replace it with. And ultimately you know the first step really is is OK we’re going to remove it then you know product actually you know of what’s going back there. And you know I’m kind of simplifying it into stuff. You know there was a lot of things to take into consideration but you know one really being you know hey guys what are you going to do with that rubber once you take it off. And you know most most people are finding that you know you just basically load it up and landfill it.
Clark: [00:02:04] And what would be the cost ballpark to remove rubber mulch from an average-sized playground?
Nic: [00:02:12] It’s really hard to say. I mean I’ve seen some astronomical costs in some city budgets you know thousands of dollars tens of thousands of dollars per playground. You know I’m talking like you could buy a car per playground now a nice car at that. However you know realistically I think if someone saying look this rubber mulch you know has started to break down we need an alternative here. You know I think we’re we’re seeing people spending probably a couple of thousand dollars for a contractor on an average size playground you know and then maybe maybe a couple thousand dollars on the disposal cost.
Clark: [00:02:52] Sure. Sure. And if you know a manager is listening to this facilities manager or someone’s involved and they’re going to have to deal with rubber mulch removal. Do you have any information or ideas for them to what to do before they start?
Nic: [00:03:08] Yeah you know I mean there’s there’s a couple of things that I’ve had people you know specific to our product how they move forward. You know we’ve seen some people you know basically just take the rubber and they say they’ll just take like our virgin rubber and just throw it on top. You know it’s really not what we recommend because the whole idea is to get rid of this dirty rubber and we wouldn’t want it mixing in and so you know if you’re just going on to say we don’t want to disturb it we don’t want to dispose of it we’re going to save some money we’ve had some customers who have put like a very high grade poly woven cloth down and in a sense they kind of created a barrier to you know forever kind of bury this rubber keep it underneath the playground but then come back with like a virgin Jelly Bean rubber on top put like another six inches on top. And then you know you get out of the disposable cost you get out of the you know the removal. I mean in a perfect world I would say let’s get this nasty stuff out of there. Remove it clean it out and start over fresh. But ultimately you know I think that you know it is a close second just to be good if you can figure out how to seal off. And the way to do that with a very high grade weed barrier cloth.
Clark: [00:04:30] OK. And what’s interesting here is you mentioned Jelly Bean rubber. That’s your product. Can you give me some information about Jelly Bean rubber and why or why not this would not have to be removed like some rubber mulch is being removed?
Nic: [00:04:44] Well you know the whole issue with rubber mulch being removed and why some of it’s testing and bad with heavy metals and whatnot you know rubber mulch is from a tire. That product is a post-consumer product. So you’re going to get quite a bit of contaminants from the roadway you’re going to get a lot of possible petrochemicals that could have been picked up and then you know it takes one tire that picked up something nasty from the roadway to a car. You know just even one piece of that contaminant got on one playground that can be spread between multiple playgrounds. And so you know what we’re doing here, we’ve got a virgin rubber product that we know where it came from. We know exactly what’s in it and we know that it’s all safe for children. And that you know 20 years from now it’ll still be safe for children to play on.
Clark: [00:05:43] Right. And in terms of popular replacement products for when the rubber mulch removal happens I’m assuming Jelly Bean is one because you’ve mentioned a lot of people call you as they’re in the process of removing the rubber or before what other ones would people consider when when removing rubber mulch and having to put a play surface down?
Nic: [00:06:03] You know I mean the Jelly Bean rubber is really a sweet spot product. It’s got the cleanliness the non-toxicity of virgin rubber but it has head impact attenuation the the good safety ratings and lack of allergens is you know it’s going to give you a much higher rating than really any other products. You know what we see people doing if they’re pulling tire mulch out there they kinda are. They’re looking at us hopefully. But the other two options would be you know you go to like a virgin rubber tile system OK. This is kind of like you know what we’re making you know we’re using the trimmings and the tiles that don’t meet spec to make our product but you know if you go with a full tile system the problem is just that you know there are four times the cost of our product. Which you know is just for most people is just not an option. And then you know so sometimes they’ll make the mistake we feel of going into like a wood product you know organic wood mulch and you just get back in you know to lower fall ratings. You get issues with mold mildew contamination from from other sources and it’s just cost you know recently. Well you know I think when we last talked Clark we were talking about the Jelly Bean product is one fourth of the cost of wood mulch over 20 years. And so it’s a big it’s a big financial setback if you go back to wood mulch when you already had rubber.
Clark: [00:07:36] Yeah absolutely. And it’s been very helpful. I’ve got two more questions for you. First for people that might be listening to this that are wondering about their case. Their kind of facility where has Jelly Bean been installed in in place of rubber mulch or someone that was considering putting rubber tire mulch down like has it been installed on school playgrounds or parks. Where has it been installed?
Nic: [00:07:59] You know really all over I mean recently you know I can I can just you know I can think of I think of a handful of places you know. But you know one of the you know we had a couple of colleges schools couple of children’s institutes that have said you know what we’re taking this stuff out and we’re going to come back in and put your product in. It’s really been across the board. You know we had some more high price profile clients and you know there’s been a lot of cities going to give you an idea like the state of Connecticut put a moratorium on putting rubber in their parks system right now. And so there’s there’s a lot of people really for almost every state who’s you know expressing concern over having old dirty tires on their playground, rightfully so.
Clark: [00:08:53] Right. And my last question for you is you know if somebody is kind of in this process of rubber mulch removal or rubber tire mulch removal. Oh can they contact you even maybe they need advice or maybe they want to know more about your product. How can they get in touch. How would you like them to get in touch?
Nic: [00:09:11] You know absolutely. I mean you know I think the easiest thing to do is is this if you want to call our office direct at any time you can certainly be so our direct line in the office is 8 7 7 2 4 9 8 8 1 8 or you can go to Jelly Bean Rubber Mulch dot com and fill out a contact form. We’d be happy to help you out.
Clark: [00:09:38] Awesome Nic. As always this is very helpful. I appreciate the time.
Nic: [00:09:41] Alright, thanks Clark.
Clark: [00:09:42] Thank you.