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Marketing rubber mulch

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by TerraManusContracting, Oct 9, 2009.

  1. TerraManusContracting

    TerraManusContracting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    I have obtained a source of free rubber mulch, and am looking for all the ways I can find to market this service. I see public parks and schools as being my target audience for this product, it's perfect for playgrounds and such. So my questions are:

    Can you name any additional places where rubber mulch is the best value-added alternative to anything else?

    Can you list additional benefits of using rubber mulch that I may not be aware of? (ie:drop in liability insurance, etc.)

    How have you marketed this product in the past?

  2. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Since it's a free source, does it conform to the same standards as the commercially available rubber mulches? I ask because when I worked on a bid for an elementary school, the mulches had to have acheived a certain score on drop tests, etc.

    What's the raw material- used tires, pre-consumer rubber scrap, something else?
  3. TerraManusContracting

    TerraManusContracting LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    It's shredded tires. What is a typical cost on rubber mulch?
  4. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,617

    rubber mulch is typically VERY expensive, and of course heavy so transportation cost are a big issue
  5. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    There are varying degrees of quality with rubber mulch. The product required for schools has no steel pieces in it (from steel belted tires). I'd check this out to be sure that there is no potential liability for you.
  6. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    another issue wich has com eto light is other cheicasl in the tire rubber, not the steel belts, but Zinc, ect...in the rubber itself..

    cut and paste
    There are many harmful chemicals in ground-up rubber tire mulch used on playgrounds. Young children are a very vulnerable population and therefore should be protected from chemical exposures whenever possible.

    The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station analyzed a sample of ground-up rubber tires and found:

    * Benzothiazole: Skin and eye irritation, harmful if swallowed. There is no available data on cancer, mutagenic toxicity, teratogenic toxicity, or developmental toxicity.
    * Butylated hydroxyanisole: Recognized carcinogen, suspected endocrine toxicant, gastrointestinal toxicant, immunotoxicant (adverse effects on the immune system), neurotoxicant (adverse effects on the nervous system), skin and sense-organ toxicant. There is no available data on cancer, mutagenic toxicity, teratogenic toxicity, or developmental toxicity.
    * n-hexadecane: Severe irritant based on human and animal studies. There is no available data on cancer, mutagenic toxicity, teratogenic toxicity, or developmental toxicity.
    * 4-(t-octyl) phenol: Corrosive and destructive to mucous membranes. There is no available data on cancer, mutagenic toxicity, teratogenic toxicity, or developmental toxicity.
    * Zinc: There is a very large amount of zinc that is added in the manufacturing of tires and therefore there is a great deal of zinc.

    Other Chemicals that are often found in rubber tires are:

    * Benzene: Carcinogen, Developmental Toxicant, Reproductive Toxicant
    * Phthalates: Suspected Developmental Toxicant, Endocrine Toxicant, Reproductive Toxicant
    * PAHs: Suspected Cardiovascular or Blood Toxicant, Gastrointestinal or Liver Toxicant, Reproductive Toxicant ,Respiratory Toxicant,
    * Maganese: Gastrointestinal or liver toxicants
    * Carbon Black: Carcinogen
    * Latex: Causes allergic reactions in some people

    So its something else to consider. I personally do not believe any of the above issues to be anything to worry about, but someone might.


    FWIW the EHHIis a nine-member, non-profit organization composed of physicians , public health professionals and policy experts, dedicated to protecting human health from environmental harms. It receives no money from businesses or corporations.

    of course nancy alderman could be just a coooook and stay at home mom who wants attention as well...
  7. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Lol at finding free 600/yard material.....if its too good to be true.............
  8. skennedy

    skennedy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    MarcSmith highlights the importance of sticking with colored wood mulches and top spraying them with non-VOC materials when they oxidize.
  9. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    I never said I recommended color mulches. IMO colored mulches are worse than rubber mulch at least in regards to appearance/quality. If you read my post. I did say that while some of the point about rubber mulch MAY have merit I don't believe them to be an issue. But SOME people may.

    Groups like EHHI have some merit in keeping the industry honest. But as soon as I see a video on you tube with some attention seeking hag telling me that packed dirt is safer than rubber mulches they loose all credibility...There is nothing safe about a hard packed play ground...

    rubber mulch/crumb rubber has it place in play ground areas/sport fields, ect where fall protection is of great importance. But I don't believe it has any place in the "formal" landscape areas...
  10. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    yep, we did a job that had a per bag price of like $14 each i think in the spring this year... was expensive... actually we used up the last 14 bags for a tiny kiddie slide in a development home that still costed over $300.. its no joke expensive, and one bag hardly does anything.

    To me it feels like trying to mulch a 10 yard mulch job using BAGGED mulch lol

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