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Snapshots of Success: Winning on the Field with Waste Diversion

April 14, 2015
  • Johns Hopkins University
JHU's turf field gets an upgrade and the environment benefits as material from the old turf is reused.

It’s a turf life for those who don’t recycle! Fortunately, Homewood Field can’t relate. When the synthetic surface was replaced in summer 2014, it was important to those involved that the removed materials didn’t simply get trashed. Whereas artificial grass does make use of recycled tires, it does not biodegrade and will sit in a landfill indefinitely at the end of its life. The old surface served Johns Hopkins' varsity teams — lacrosse, field hockey, football, and soccer, as well as commencement — since 2005. With a field that sees as much action as Homewood Field, fibers get thinner and weaknesses develop at the seams and it was due for replacement as it neared the ten-year mark: the typical turf shelf life.

During the process, the field was stripped down to its stone base and then prepped with a gravel and sand mix. After the old turf was cleaned and the sand removed, the sand was then reused as topdressing for new fields and golf courses. The old green part is then reused in such applications as batting cages, dog parks or home landscaping projects.

Homewood Field
Homewood Field in all its glory.

The new system utilizes a sand and rubber mixture that allows for better drainage. The product is also designed to be more durable than its predecessor, reducing the need for maintenance and allowing for a longer lifespan overall. With its old covering repurposed and its new dressings in place, Homewood Field is ready for years of more action!

Rolls of Turf field
Rolls of turf awaiting repurposing.

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