News Release

Office of Public Affairs

For Immediate Release: May 2, 2012
For more information contact:
Media Contact: Heather Jones

SACRAMENTO – Old tires will be recycled into new playground surfaces, mulch, and sports turf thanks to $8 million in state grants to schools, cities, and counties.

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) made 74 grant awards, ranging from $9,824 to $150,000, through the Tire-Derived Product Grant Program. The program is funded by a recycling fee on new tires sold in California.

“These grants support a wide range of uses and markets for recycled tires in California,” CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen said. “California’s robust tire recycling infrastructure creates jobs and makes good use of a material that has historically been an environmental problem.”

Rubber tires have properties such as shock absorbance, water resistance, skid resistance, and durability that make them ideal for other applications after they can no longer be used on vehicles. As playground surfaces, they are softer and safer than traditional surface materials. The material also maintains its color, drains well, and doesn’t attract insects or cats. Rubber landscaping mulch is not absorbent, so plantings require less water, fertilizer, and pesticide. It also does not compact, which cuts down on the need for future applications. In agricultural applications, rubber stall mats keep animals dry and insulated, provide good traction, are easy to clean, and reduce airborne dust.

Qualifying projects must use a total of at least 2,500 California waste tires. Grant recipients include:

  • The Benicia Unified School District in Solano County, which received $103,258 to replace its current clay track with a recycled rubber surface. The district also plans to replace field event runways with the same material and install a synthetic sports turf using recycled tires as infill.
  • The 31st District Agricultural Association in Ventura County, which will receive $128,929. The district will purchase recycled rubber mats for animal stalls and rubber surface material for its horse arena.
  • The City of Hollister in San Benito County, which received $150,000. The city will use mulch made from recycled tires in order to reduce or eliminate the amount of herbicide needed for weed control at the Hollister Municipal Airport. The airport currently spends about $12,000 per year on chemical herbicide.

The Tire-Derived Product Grant Program and other recycled tire grant programs are funded from CalRecycle’s share of a $1.75 surcharge on each tire sold in the state. The programs are designed to help make the market for recycled waste tires sustainable and ensure they are made available for beneficial use rather than sent to landfills, or, worse yet, to illegal waste piles, where they pose a fire hazard and attract mosquitoes and vermin.

The following is a complete list of jurisdictions that received funding under the Tire-Derived Product Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2011/2012.

ApplicantProjectTotal Award
Alameda County
Hayward Unified School District Playground cover$57,750
Butte County
Oroville City Elementary School District Playground cover$149,940
Del Norte County
Del Norte CountyRubber mulch for garden, exercise and playground areas, and walking path$150,000
Fresno County
City of Parlier Playground cover, landscape mulch$70,000
City of Sanger Playground cover, flower bed mulch$150,000
Parlier Unified School District Rubber mulch, walking path$150,000
Caruthers Unified School District Rubber mulch, walking path150,000
Mendota Unified School District Playground cover$124,697
Sanger Unified School District Playground cover$149,691
Humboldt County
City of Fortuna Playground cover, landscape mulch$136,324
Northern Humboldt Union High School District Synthetic track$29,170
Pacific Union School District Playground cover$82,617
Kern County
Arvin Union School District Playground cover$150,000
City of Arvin Playground cover$121,625
City of Taft Playground cover, flower bed mulch$150,000
West Side Recreation & Park District Playground cover$150,000
Lake County
Kelseyville Unified School District Playground cover$125,518
Lassen County
Lassen County FairMulch, horse stall mats$47,097
Los Angeles County
Bonita Unified School District Synthetic track and sports turf$55,369
City of Baldwin Park Playground cover$13,070
City of Bell Gardens Playground cover, landscape mulch$104,125
City of Downey Soccer fields$150,000
City of Manhattan Beach Playground cover$149,570
City of Montebello Playground cover$142,180
City of Pico Rivera Playground cover55,125
City of Santa Monica Wall guards for trash bin enclosures$25,000
Lynwood Unified School District Playground cover$116,375
Madera County
City of Madera Playground cover, landscape mulch$35,356
Merced County
City of Gustine Playground cover, landscape mulch$99,750
Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority Landscape mulch$27,827
Merced County Spring Fair Livestock mats$98,812
Merced Union High School District Landscape mulch, mats for athletic workout areas, livestock mats$72,498
Plainsburg Union Elementary School District Playground cover$150,000
Planada Elementary School District Playground cover, landscape mulch$146,520
Monterey County
City of Del Rey Oaks Playground cover, landscape mulch$149,403
City of Gonzales Playground cover, landscape mulch$125,003
City of Salinas Synthetic sports turf for soccer and football$85,275
Monterey County Playground cover, synthetic sports turf$127,068
Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Playground cover$149,847
Washington Union School District Playground cover$88,857
Placer County
20th District Agricultural Association Animal stall mats$28,000
Placer Hills Union School District Rubber ramps and mats for schools$44,400
Sacramento County
Northern California Regional Public Safety Training Authority Landscape mulch$112,421
River Delta Unified School District Playground cover$148,006
San Benito County
City of Hollister Rubber mulch$150,000
San Bernardino County
City of Highland Rubber mulch$64,060
San Diego County
Padre Dam Municipal Water District Playground cover$9,824
San Joaquin County
Aspire Public Schools Playground cover$40,110
City of Escalon Playground cover$150,000
Lincoln Unified School District Playground cover$149,587
San Joaquin County Office of Education Synthetic turf$150,000
Santa Clara County
Alum Rock Union Elementary School District Playground cover$150,000
Fremont Union High School District Synthetic sports turf$149,980
Gilroy Prep School Playground cover$22,000
Solano County
Benicia Unified School District Synthetic track and sports turf$103,258
City of Dixon Landscape mulch$118,000
Dixon Unified School District Playground cover$129,500
Travis Unified School District Landscape mulch, synthetic sports turf$124,345
Sonoma County
Bellevue Union School District Playground cover$149,822
Petaluma City Schools Synthetic athletic tracks$148,436
Stanislaus County
City of Modesto Synthetic soccer fields$150,000
City of Turlock Landscape mulch149,587
City of Waterford Playground cover, landscape mulch$82,250
Sylvan Union School District Playground cover149,588
Turlock Unified School District Livestock mats, mats for athletic workout areas$50,597
Sutter County
Marcum-Illinois Union Elementary School District Playground cover$54,601
Winship-Robbins Elementary School District Playground cover$102,597
Tehama County
Los Molinos Unified School District Playground cover$149,190
Tulare County
Cutler-Orosi Joint Unified School District Playground cover$148,280
Earlimart School District Synthetic track$12,324
Farmersville Unified School District Playground cover, landscape mulch$150,000
Ventura County
31st District Agricultural Association Livestock mats, arena material$128,929
Yolo County
Yolo County Office of Education Playground cover, landscape mulch$147,199
Yuba County
City of Marysville Playground cover$149,788
Total $8,078,138

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