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Turning Waste Rubber into Sustainable Playgrounds: A Circular Economy Triumph in Timaru

We are excited to announce the partnership with Sustainable Fun for Everyone with NumatREC and Creo to transform the surface at the CPlay destination playground in Timaru. This collaboration marks a significant step in New Zealand’s circular economy, as it involves removing and recycling a 28-year-old rubber surface, turning it into a new, innovative playground surface. You can read more about the CPlay initiative here.

Recycling and Reusing Rubber

NumatREC’s innovative recycling process begins with the collection of waste rubber, which is then taken to their facility for granulation. The CPlay project is the first in New Zealand to recycle its old rubber waste, with about 400m² of the matting removed and approximately 2500m² being laid down. Most old matting will return to the new site, showcasing a commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.

This initiative is a significant step towards reducing imported rubber and waste rubber going into landfills by up to 780 tonnes per year. The surfaces created using recycled material are highly durable and can last up to 20 years, and at the end of life, they can be recycled again using the same process.

Sustainable Fun for Everyone: More Than Just Play

Sustainable Fun for Everyone’s commitment goes beyond recycling. They aim to create fun, accessible playgrounds for all children. The surfaces are designed for excellent slip resistance, cushioning, and durability. They are also committed to the circular economy, ensuring that the surfaces can be recycled again at the end of life.

NumatAGRI: Farm Rubber Recycling

NumatAGRI, another key partner, plays a vital role in recycling old farm rubber mats. These mats are processed and poured into playground surfacing. This innovative approach extends the circular economy into the agricultural sector, connecting farms with playgrounds in a sustainable loop.

Incorporating Local Culture and Accessibility

Partnering with playground design company Creo, the project also celebrates local culture by incorporating the Taniwha, a mythical creature, “watching” the children as they play. This cultural touch adds a unique dimension to the playground, making it a place where everyone is included – culturally, physically, and spiritually.

The use of NumatREC Pour’n’Play surfacing ensures that playground surfaces are smooth and easy to access for children with mobility challenges. These surfaces are specially designed to provide excellent slip resistance, cushioning, and durability, making playgrounds more inclusive and enjoyable for all children.

A Model for the Future

The collaboration between NumatREC, Sustainable Fun for Everyone, and NumatAGRI is more than a playground project. It’s a model for sustainability, innovation, and community engagement. It’s a step towards a future where the surface of our playgrounds reflects a commitment to the circular economy, community, and the joy of play.