Aspen to install recycled-rubber sidewalks |

Aspen to install recycled-rubber sidewalks

Aspen Times Staff Report
Val CO, Colorado

ASPEN, .Colorado ” Aspen announced Friday it will become the first city in Colorado to install sidewalks made with recycled rubber.

However, the rubber sidewalk “pavers” are apparently already in place in Aurora, Colo., according to a company that makes them, Rubbersidewalks TM, Inc.

Nonetheless, Aspen plans to install the rubber sidewalk “pavers” in the 600 and 700 blocks of Main Street. The material eliminates cracked and buckled walkways, and furthers the city’s environmental goals by diverting 1,800 tires from a landfill for the project. Use of rubber sidewalk also avoids the carbon-dioxide emissions resulting from the production of concrete.

According to the city, the Environmental Protection Agency has deemed the production of concrete responsible for more than 5 percent of global carbon emissions, making it the third-largest source of greenhouse gas pollution.

The rubber-made sidewalks are also kinder to adjacent urban trees and reduce stormwater runoff, the city says.

According to Rubbersidewalks TM, Inc. ” the company cited in the city announcement ” muncipalities and private property owners are looking to rubberized sidewalks as a durable alternative to concrete. The pavers allow for easier and less costly repairs when they are dislodged by tree roots, says its website.

The pavers look like traditional bricks, according to the company, but they are made from 100 percent recycled rubber. Each square-foot paver uses the rubber from one passenger-vehicle tire.

The company’s website indicates 60 cities in 17 states, including Aurora, had installed the rubber sidewalks by the end of 2006.

Aspen’s announcement offered no information about the anticipated cost of installing rubber sidewalks versus traditional concrete walkways or the differences in maintenance costs. Officials with the city public works and engineering departments could not be reached for comment Friday.

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