Published Nov 20, 2013
Have you ever been walking down a sidewalk and unknowingly tripped over a crack, bump, or uneven concrete block? Unfortunately, this type of incident is more common than you might think and for some cities and municipalities, it can be a huge liability for trip and fall lawsuits.
Common Problems with Concrete Sidewalks
A large majority of sidewalks are built next to or in the same areas as trees—trees which, as they grow over time, naturally spread their roots. As roots grown near or beneath concrete sidewalks, it causes the sidewalks to buckle or crack, creating an unsafe walking surface. Having to repair these sidewalks or rip out trees is a huge cost for local governments.
Recycled Tires Create Low-Maintenance Sidewalks
Thanks to modern technology, though, cities now have a better option for creating safe and more user-friendly sidewalks with the use of recycled rubber. Some of the first rubber sidewalks were implemented by cities in California in the early 2000’s, but now, dozens of different cities have started implementing them due to their eco-friendly and low-maintenance nature.
Benefits of Rubber Sidewalks
One of the most common forms of rubber sidewalks is created by installing large rubber panels that look similar to large tiles or concrete blocks. Because these rubber panels are much more flexible than concrete, nearby trees and roots don’t cause near as much damage. And because the panels are installed with spaces in between, it makes for a better method of rainfall runoff.
Additionally, rubber is naturally more shock absorbent, which makes rubber sidewalks a much more user-friendly option for those walking on it. When compared to concrete sidewalks, rubber panels are much easier on joints and bones—not to mention also much more forgiving during falls. It results in fewer injuries for the elderly, and definitely less scraped knees for children.
Even though the initial costs of installing rubber sidewalks is higher than concrete, in the long-term, they are much more cost effective due to the fact that little to no maintenance is needed.
Above all, rubber sidewalks are certainly the most environmentally friendly choice as well. Estimates show that each rubber panel used to create a sidewalk prevents one standard car tire from reaching a landfill. The U.S. alone produces about 300 million scrap tires every year, and while technology has started to find many uses for recycled tires, there are still millions that take up valuable landfill space. Products like rubber sidewalk panels are helping to reduce the problem of waste tires, re-using the still viable rubber that will stay in tact for years to come.
Visit our site to learn more about how Eco Green Equipment is helping the movement of tire recycling. Our equipment specializes in shredding and granulating waste tires that can then be used in eco-friendly products.