Environmental Costs of Turf?

In the article in the April 4 Enterprise, “Questions and Answers About the Proposed Athletic Fields,” there is a statement that the life of the artificial turf on a “heavy use” field is about 10 years. Later it was stated that replacement cost for the turf alone will be between $350,000 and $800,000, depending upon whose figures you chose to use. I wonder if these replacement figures take into account the cost of the disposal of the artificial turf—a frequent occurrence if it only has a 10-year life span.

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If I could attend Town Meeting these are the questions I would like to ask: what happens to those acres of plastic after their useful life is over? Can they be recycled? Does artificial turf allow water through to replenish groundwater? Or is it more like asphalt, producing run-off?  What, in fact, is the “cradle-to-grave” cost, environmental as well as monetary, of replacing open ground with the proposed man-made material?

Ellen Tully
Norwalk, Connecticut

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