Showing posts with the label #Cost

Plastic grass fields won't save LGUSD money!

LGUSD management staff have concluded plastic grass fields will NOT save the district money over reconstructed, properly maintained natural grass fields. LGUSD management staff, by their own admission, have not chosen to prioritize adequate maintenance of fields for years. Current field conditions do not reflect limitations in the ability to properly maintain natural grass fields; They simply reflect neglect. If natural grass is chosen for fields, the district's proposal is for the fields to be completely renovated: leveled, properly drained, outfitted with with modern, efficient irrigation, re-sodded and staffed with adequate labor for maintenance. As shown in the slide below, LGUSD staff compared the 20-year cost of its proposal to reconstruct natural grass fields and begin adequately maintaining and watering them against the cost of plastic grass (a.k.a. artificial turf).  LGUSD staff concluded plastic grass does NOT save money. Over 20 years, the district expects it would cost

Encourage your electeds, in LGUSD and beyond, to stop unnecessarily externalizing the costs of artificial turf.

The Story of Stuff  explains "Externalized Costs" in the video below. As apparent from the financials in the district presentation, artificial turf will cost the district at least a million dollars more than natural grass. While that's already a jaw-dropping amount of money, it does not even reflect the full true costs of artificial turf products. This often goes unacknowledged because true costs are not reflected on financial expense records. There are costs to artificial turf that neither the district nor the community will pay with cash from their pockets. These are called "externalized costs". These costs include the costs to environmental and public health and extend beyond LGUSD campuses. These costs are incurred and effect real people along the entire length of this product's lifecycle, from the toxic pollution that comes from harvesting of natural resources, through manufacture, through degradation over years of exposure to the elements and foot

But what about the drought?? What about water expenses??

The Heat Island Effect. Source: Dustin Phillips on Flickr. Image featured in  "No More Pavement! The Problem of Impervious Surfaces" by Columbia Climate School Indeed one motive often cited for artificial turf usage is water conservation.  T he LGUSD slides from the 11/8/21 Town Hall meeting highlighted water conservation as a prime justification for covering school grounds with giant sheets of plastic. However, using water conservation to justify plastic grass is an argument sorely lacking in perspective. And it contributes to the false dichotomy that is this narrow set of district options being discussed. To conserve water, should we entirely sacrifice: two of the few remaining swaths of easily-accessible, publicly available living landscapes in our increasingly urbanized downtown?   the exposure to nature they provide 1000+ Los Gatos children twice every schoolday? the cooling they provide to counter the heat-island effect of our urban environment?  the biodiversity t

Is this about LGUSD saving money?

No. Cost-savings is NOT the motive to install artificial turf.  The district has acknowledged that artificial turf does not save the district money.  In fact, an "upgrade" from natural grass to artificial turf will cost an extra $1 million PER FIELD for initial construction with ongoing replacement costs of $600K PER FIELD every 8-10 years.  If and when funding allows, additional LGUSD campus fields might get the "upgrade".  Is fake grass really what we want to prioritize spending LGUSD's limited funds on?  Aren't there other construction projects that would better serve LGUSD's K-8 students? Wouldn't you prefer LGUSD spend $1 MILLION from its limited budget on something other than plastic grass??  Natural grass is safer, softer, cooler, beneficial in so many ways , AND a million dollars cheaper than artificial turf!

LGUSD touts it's "recyclable". But artificial turf is NOT being recycled in the U.S.

Image from  Safe Healthy Playing Field 's  Facebook post . Marketing artificial turf as "recyclable" is greenwashing. Being "recyclable" and being "recycled" are not the same thing.  Artificial turf is classified as a single-use plastic .   While some single-use plastic water bottles may be recycled, artificial turf is  NOT being recycled in the U.S. It's challenging to separate the infill and contaminants from the carpet. There are no facilities in the U.S. that recycle artificial turf, and it's unlikely we're shipping it overseas.  Industry confirms in the video below that no artificial turf has EVER been recycled in the U.S.: 🟢👀🟢We spy something industry greenwashing tactic! 🚩Artificial turf has long been touted as being recycled, giving communities a false sense of being good enviro stewards. 💀BUT @TenCateGrassUS admitted that NO artificial turf has EVER been recycled in the US. NONE. — PFA