In a recent exchange between politicians in Dusseldorf, Germany, the Greens had railed against crumb rubber in artificial sports surfaces. The Greens had insisted that there must be a better alternative for the city’s sports fields.
In response, Udo Skalnik a politician from the south of the city elaborated that as the head of the municipal sports office for 25 years he had seen no alternative. Many alternatives used ash, which is much more damaging to health.
The Greens argued that natural grass was better for the environment but Skalnik did not recognise the issue. The rubber granules used , he said, were not (simply) a tyre recycling product but were a properly specified and tested material meeting the requirements of Germany’s Federal Soil protection and Contaminated Sites Ordinance.
Skalnik argued that the artificial sports surfaces enabled greater all year round use, and over a 15 year lifespan reduced costs to the operators. The alternative to artificial sports surfaces, he claimed, would be to triple the number of sports fields available in the city in order to accommodate the sports and players using the existing artificial sports surfaces.
The debate is to be continued at future meetings of the council.