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Last Updated on January 24, 2024 by Pat

Athletic fields, whether they boast lush natural grass or feature the latest in artificial turf technology, are more than just patches of green where sports are played. They’re integral to communities, schools, and professional sports complexes.  More and more municipal agencies and private facility owners have turned to synthetic surfaces, to address the high-traffic nature of today’s sportsfields.  But what happens when these fields reach the end of their life cycle?  Most old artificial turf fields are removed and replaced with new ones.  But it’s not just about swapping plastic carpet for new plastic carpet; it’s a careful process that considers what comes next for both the field and the materials removed from it.

Enter UDC Sports Construction.  UDC Sports Construction has carved a niche in this specialized area, removing synthetic turf athletic fields with a keen eye on environmental sustainability. They’ve teamed up with ReTurf Solutions, a leader in artificial turf recycling, to ensure that the removal process is not only efficient but also environmentally responsible. This partnership represents a shift in how we think about sports field replacement and disposal. Instead of seeing old fields as waste, UDC Sports Construction and ReTurf view them as opportunities for renewal and recycling.

Their approach is a game-changer in the industry. By collaborating with ReTurf, UDC Sports Construction ensures that the materials from old fields are repurposed or reused, significantly reducing environmental impact. This method marks a departure from traditional practices that often led to materials ending up in landfills. It’s a win for the environment and a win for communities looking to update their athletic facilities responsibly.

Environmental Impact of Field Removal and Recycling

When it comes to removing old artificial turf fields, the environmental implications are significant. Traditional disposal methods often meant that vast amounts of non-biodegradable materials ended up in landfills – averaging about 550 cubic yards per field. This not only consumed valuable landfill space but kicked the can down the road on solving a growing national problem. Artificial turf is made from synthetic materials that don’t break down easily. This poses a challenge: how do we manage these materials responsibly at the end of their lifespan?

The answer lies in innovative ‘second-life’ efforts, like those championed by ReTurf, in collaboration with UDC Sports Construction. This partnership is at the forefront of transforming the industry’s approach to field removal. By repurposing and reusing artificial turf, they are diverting tons of material from landfills. This effort significantly reduces the ecological footprint of athletic field removal. ReTurf’s approach doesn’t just mean repurposing old turf into new fields; it extends to extracting and reusing various components of the turf in different applications. This could range from creating landscaping materials to developing new sporting surfaces, and includes the separation and repurposing of infill and pad components of a turf field system, also.

A picture Eco-Friendly Athletic Field Removal and Recycling with UDC Sports of with Republic Sports

ReTurf’s approach is meticulous. They start by carefully separating each component of the artificial turf – from the synthetic grass carpet and the infill, to the pad – each processed separately. This ensures maximum recovery and reuse. Their methods are a stark contrast to the traditional ‘tear and toss’ approach and represent a proactive step towards sustainable practices in sports construction.

The benefits of this recycling process are multifaceted. Not only does it minimize the environmental impact, but it also sets a precedent for responsible material management in the sports industry. By choosing to recycle, UDC Sports Construction and ReTurf are not just removing fields; they are safeguarding the environment for future generations of athletes and sports enthusiasts. This commitment to eco-friendly practices highlights a growing awareness and responsibility towards our planet in the realm of sports infrastructure development.

The Process of Field Removal

Field removal, particularly in the world of sports construction, is a task that requires precision, planning, and a deep understanding of the materials involved. Whether it’s an artificial turf or a natural grass field, each type demands a unique approach. UDC Sports Construction, with their expertise in this field, has developed a systematic process to ensure the removal is efficient, environmentally friendly, and ready for the next steps, whether that be recycling or a new installation.

For artificial turf fields, the process begins with a detailed assessment. The team identifies the type of turf, the infill material used (like rubber, silica sand, EPDM, TPE, coconut fiber, cork, etc. ), and the condition of the underlying layers. This assessment is crucial because it determines the recycling potential of the materials, and dictates the methods and equipment necessary for a careful removal. Once the evaluation is complete, the removal begins with precision cutting of the turf into manageable sections. This step is vital to maintain the integrity of the materials for recycling. The team then carefully rolls up these sections, ensuring that minimal infill material is lost during the process, and the rolls are marked, banded, and loaded for transport.

A picture Eco-Friendly Athletic Field Removal and Recycling with UDC Sports of with Republic Sports

Natural grass fields require a different approach. Here, the focus is on removing organics, minimizing the impact on the surrounding environment, and exposing a solid soil foundation on which to build.  The removal includes removal of grass and the organic root zone beneath.  This method may include measures to preserve and repurpose sod and topsoil. After the removal of organics, the remaining soil is assessed and prepared for its new surface, whether it’s the base for the new playing surface field or other surfacing, such as a track or natural area.

Throughout the process, UDC Sports Construction emphasizes minimizing waste and maximizing recycling opportunities. For instance, removed natural grass can find new life in landscaping projects, while recycled artificial turf can be repurposed in various applications. It’s this thoughtful approach to field removal that sets UDC Sports Construction apart. They’re not just removing a field; they’re thinking about the lifecycle of the materials involved and the environmental footprint they leave behind. This attention to detail and commitment to sustainability is what makes their process both effective and eco-friendly.

Project Management in Field Removal

Efficient project management is the cornerstone of successful field removal operations, a fact well understood and implemented by UDC Sports Construction. In the world of sports field removal, where each project presents its unique challenges, the coordination of labor, equipment, and materials becomes a high-wire act of logistics and timing. UDC Sports Construction excels in this area, ensuring that each project is completed efficiently, safely, and with minimal environmental impact.

Central to their project management approach is meticulous planning. Before a single blade of artificial turf is cut or a patch of natural grass is rolled up, a comprehensive plan is in place. This plan outlines the scope of work, the equipment needed, the labor force required, and the timeline for completion. It’s about understanding the project from A to Z and foreseeing potential challenges before they arise.

Coordinating labor is another critical aspect of project management in field removal. UDC Sports Construction brings together skilled teams, each member trained to handle specific tasks within the removal process. From operating heavy machinery to carefully cutting and rolling turf, each task is assigned to ensure the highest efficiency and safety standards.

Equipment and material logistics are equally vital. The right equipment needs to be on-site at the right time. There’s no room for delay when heavy machinery and specialized tools for cutting artificial turf are involved. UDC Sports Construction’s expertise in logistics ensures that equipment and materials are not just timely but also managed in an eco-friendly manner. This includes planning for the transportation of removed materials, especially when they are destined for recycling facilities.

UDC Sports Construction’s approach to project management in field removal is a blend of precise planning, coordinated labor, and streamlined logistics. This trifecta ensures that field removal projects are executed seamlessly, adhering to schedules, safety protocols, and environmental commitments.

A picture Eco-Friendly Athletic Field Removal and Recycling with UDC Sports of with Republic Sports

Artificial Turf Recovery and Recycling Techniques

The recycling of artificial turf is a process that marries technical precision with environmental responsibility. For companies like UDC Sports Construction and their partner ReTurf, it’s not just about removing an old field; it’s about giving it a new life.

ReTurf leads the way in this specialized area with a methodology that maximizes material recovery. The process begins with the careful separation of the turf from its infill. This is a delicate task, as the aim is to preserve the integrity of the synthetic fibers while efficiently removing the infill, which is usually a combination of ground tire rubber, or SBR, and sand. Once separated, the infill is collected for potential reuse in new turf installations or other applications.

The synthetic grass carpet, the most visible part of the turf, is then processed. ReTurf repairs damage from the removal process, grades and identifies each piece for specific reuse possibilities, and markets those pieces for sale.

What sets ReTurf apart in the recycling industry is their commitment to closing the loop in artificial turf usage. By ensuring that each component of the turf is recycled, they reduce the need for new raw materials and minimize waste. It’s a comprehensive approach that goes beyond just disposal; it’s about creating a sustainable cycle for artificial turf materials.

ReTurf’s role in the artificial turf industry is significant. They are not only providing a solution to a growing waste problem but also leading by example in terms of environmental stewardship. Their techniques and methodologies demonstrate that with the right approach, even materials as complex as artificial turf can be successfully recycled, contributing to a more sustainable future in sports construction.

A picture Eco-Friendly Athletic Field Removal and Recycling with UDC Sports of with Republic Sports

UDC Sports Construction: Your Go-To for Eco-Friendly Athletic Developments

UDC Sports Construction stands out in the sports construction industry, particularly for their environmentally conscious approach to field removal and recycling. They blend expert service with a commitment to the planet, making them an ideal choice for a range of sports construction needs.

  • Tailored Project Management: UDC Sports Construction handles diverse projects, from small-scale setups to major sports complexes. They manage every detail, ensuring that each project aligns with both the client’s vision and environmental sustainability.
  • Consulting and Design Services: Working with top-tier designers, UDC Sports Construction turns your ideas into practical designs. Their role as a licensed General Contractor involves embedding eco-friendly solutions throughout the planning and construction process.
  • Innovative Field Removal and Recycling: In collaboration with ReTURF, UDC Sports Construction elevates the field removal process. They focus on methods that reduce environmental impact, repurposing and recycling materials from old fields.
  • Comprehensive Equipment and Surfacing: Their services extend to providing high-quality sports equipment and surfacing. Whether it’s installing new turf or upgrading existing facilities, UDC Sports Construction prioritizes eco-friendly practices without compromising on quality.

UDC Sports Construction isn’t just about building or removing fields; they’re about creating sustainable sports environments. Their combination of expertise, environmental responsibility, and a wide array of services positions them as a leader in the field.

If you’re considering a sports construction project and prioritize environmental care, UDC Sports Construction is your ideal partner. Whether you’re at the initial planning stage or have detailed queries, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is prepared to realize your vision for a sports facility, ensuring every step is taken with sustainability in mind. Contact us today to start your journey towards an eco-friendly sports project.

UDC Sports

UDC Sports is a premier provider of sports field and facility construction services with over 20 years of experience. We are experts in all aspects of sports facility construction, from site preparation to drainage to turf installation, regardless of the sport. We stay up-to-date with the latest industry standards and practices, and our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction is unwavering, as evidenced by our 100% client satisfaction rating. With years of experience in product selection and project management, UDC Sports combines state-of-the-art construction materials and methods with a creative approach to turning client visions into reality. Whether you're building a 10,000 seat stadium or a backyard batting cage, we're here to make sure your vision is accomplished.