TES playground area becomes blue to go green
Tonganoxie Elementary School is becoming a little greener by turning blue.
On Monday, Kelly Bingham and his son, Ethan, of Bingham Landscaping, delivered and spread a Caribbean blue mulch made from recycled Kansas tires for the TES playground.
“I’ve seen them on playgrounds before, but I’ve never actually played on them,” Tammie George, TES principal, said Monday. “It’s going to be fun to see the kids’ faces when they come out for recess and see a blue playground.”
The idea for the new hue came out of the school’s focus on becoming more environmentally friendly.
“We wanted to do it for a couple of reasons,” George said. “One: we’re recycling. Two: We are using products from Kansas that makes sure our students are safe.”
Twylia Sekavec, president of Resource Management Co. Inc. in Brownell, which distributed the mulch to Bingham Landscaping, said the mulch is specifically made out of old tires that come from the state.
Sekavec said the tires are sent to a processing plant in Oklahoma, where they are shredded and have the steel removed from them before they are colorized with Microban-treated paint to make the chips resistant to bacteria, fungi and mildew.
Not only is the product resistant to bacteria, Sekavec said, but the rubberized compound makes the playground safer.
“It’s like walking on something spongy,” Sekavec said. “If they fall down, they will be falling on something a lot softer than wood mulch would be.”
The cost of the rubber mulch is higher than traditional playground mulch used by the schools, but George thinks the school will save more money in the long run because the tire mulch is expected to last at least 10 years as opposed to the wood mulch, which she said must be replaced every two years.
George said 50 percent of the cost of the mulch came out of the school’s green schools grant money from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
The school received $9,300 to replace the special wood mulch on parts of the playground with the anti-microbial rubber playground mulch.