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Local racetrack uses recycled tires for playground

Tire chips are used to give kids softer landing
Posted at 7:19 PM, Mar 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-04 21:22:48-05

Pima County has been recycling tires for years and one local racetrack is making the process go full circle by using those old tires to make one playground a better place to be.

Track manager John Lashley says the wheels at Tucson Speedway are always turning and the fans love it. When drivers hit the brakes, those worn-out tires dropped off at the Pima County recycling site on Ina Rd. for processing. The racetrack is one of the only locations in town that gave those old tires a new life.

“This track has been here since about 1970. We asked CRM which is a company out of Phoenix that recycles tires if they had some playground chips. They sent down a semi with 10 giant bags,” Lashley said.

Lashley says the donation from CRM in Mesa is making the 10-year-old playground a lot softer for kids. The tire chips have been in place for about a year.

“The depth of this stuff around me here is probably about 8 inches and its pretty soft and cushiony. So, when the kids get off the swings or slide, they go into something that flies around a bit and gets into their clothing but it's soft,” Lashley said.

Lashley says, the tires aren’t the only thing recycled at the racetrack.

"I think it's what we need to do to be environmentally conscious. We try to do as much as we can. We recycle plastic from the racetrack here bottles, cans the Boy Scouts help us with that. We recycle motor oil. We have big barrels, and we recycle racers motor oil they can bring it here” Lashley said.

Nearly 950,000 tires are recycled at the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality every year.

"We really appreciate working with the people who make Tucson a great place to live,” Lashley said.

The Tucson Speedway is set to reopen for its 10th season on Saturday, March 12th.