Minneapolis City Council Considering Rubber Mulch Ban

Using recycled rubber tires as mulch for playgrounds and infill for athletic fields could come to a screeching halt.  

According to the Star Tribune, the Minneapolis City Council is debating whether or not to ban and remove the fall-cushioning ground cover from play areas because of “health concerns.” Studies regarding the material’s toxicity are still underway. Yet, Council Member Cam Gordon feels he “doesn’t need to wait for other studies” because he is “convinced the stuff is potentially dangerous enough.” 

Another concern should be what role the city has, if any, in making these decisions.

“We are the recreation experts, the city is not,” said Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioner Scott Vreeland. “The discussion of the city micromanaging our fields concerns me.”

Playgrounds maintained by the Park Board don’t currently use tire mulch. Nor does the city “control any playgrounds or playing fields that use waste tires for cushion…”

If this ban does go through, let’s hope it’s really to fix a safety concern and not just another example of government overreach.

Proving that will be where the rubber meets the road, er, playground.