SU goes green, saves green with new turf fields

The Carrier Dome field isnâ??t the only thing thatâ??s getting a lot greener this summer. As crews from Chenango Contracting and Ballard Sports work to install a newer, brighter turf field in the Dome, theyâ??re making a concerted effort to keep the project environmentally friendly.

â??We work in an industry where we're saving pesticides and the gas it takes to mow yards and keep up the turf," explained Chris White, marketing manager at Chenango Contracting.

In addition to the environmental benefits turf options already provide, the companies have developed a way to recycle nearly every part of an old turf field. The pair of central New York turf businesses are able to repurpose everything on a field from the actual turf to the rubber and sand infill.

A turf field the size of the Carrier Domeâ??s requires almost one million pounds of sand and ground up rubber to fill a field surface. Unlike the actual turf, this infill wonâ??t wear out over time and can be removed and reused in a new turf field. Syracuse University is repurposing the infill from the Carrier Dome to install a new turf soccer and lacrosse field on campus at Skytop.

â??To be able to recycle the infill into a new field not only keeps it out of a land fill, it also benefits the client because it saves them money so it's really a win-win all the way around," said White.

By reusing the infill from the Carrier Dome the University will save $30,000, but the environmental savings are even more impressive.

Approximately 40,000 tires are needed to create infill for just a single turf field. Only two years ago, that would have meant that 80,000 tires would need to be ground down and brought to the Hill, while the 40,000 tires that went into the original field were hauled off to a landfill. But over the last two years both central New York companies have made a concerted effort to research and refine ways to get eco-friendly.

"It's been a couple of years in the works trying to get this together for recycling infill,â?? said White. â??Right now they are coming out with some new equipment that's really going to make this better and make the whole process much more efficient."

It isnâ??t just the infill that will live on in another field either. Ballard Sports played a key role in removing the Carrier Dome field, cutting precisely along every 5-yard line, so that it too can live on at another school or park.

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