Two new sports fields made of rubber recycled from end-of-life tyres for the municipality of Pollica, donated to the administration by Ecopneus, the non-profit company that is among the primary managers of end-of-life tyres in Italy, which inaugurated a 7-a-side football field and a tennis court this morning at Fit Village in Acciaroli.

The day began with an opening whistle on the field at 9:30, followed by the ribbon cutting in the presence of the mayor of Pollica Stefano Pisani, the actor Sergio Castellitto, and the Director General of Ecopneus, Giovanni Corbetta, who illustrated the advantages of training and playing on rubber recycled from end-of-life tyres.  To follow, at Palazzo Vinciprova, the municipality and Legambiente organized the inauguration of the Life Museum of the Sea and the Living Museum of the Mediterranean Diet, where Sergio Castellitto, the star of the Rai program “the fisherman mayor” dedicated to Angelo Vassallo, received honorary citizenship of Pollica.

Realized with the collaboration of the companies Geos, MGM and RAF, the fields contain recycled rubber obtained from the processing of approximately 165 tonnes of end-of-life tyres, the equivalent in weight to over 18,000 car tyres.

The Ecopneus chain collected a total of 22,887 tonnes of end-of-life tyres in 2015 in Campania, of which 9,812 tonnes in the province of Naples, 6,385 tonnes in Salerno, 3,387 tonnes in Caserta, 1,842 tonnes in Avellino and 1,461 tonnes in Benevento.  Pick-ups at tire dealers, service stations and repair shops throughout the region also continue in 2016, with over 5,000 tonnes already collected in the first quarter.

Ecopneus, in Campania as elsewhere in Italy, coordinates the tracking, collection, processing and recovery of the end-of-life tyres from which recycled rubber used to create “modified” asphalts, sound insulation, urban furniture and sports surfaces such as those created in Pollica is obtained.

“I would like to thank Ecopneus for the gift that it has given to Pollica by granting the entire community the opportunity to enjoy two sports fields thanks to recycling,” declared Stefano Pisani, the Mayor of Pollica.  “This initiative is part of our region’s development strategy and also allows us to continue to apply a concept that is very important to us: ‘nothing is destroyed, everything is transformed’, as in the case of these tyres.  The protection of our resources is an essential message that we have to transmit to future generations, also through sports.”

“At Pollica we have created an operation that is an example of the circular economy for sustainable sports with the maximum performance,” declared Giovanni Corbetta, the Director General of Ecopneus“This is an additional confirmation of the commitment that Ecopneus has been engaged in for years for the consolidation of the usage markets of rubber recycled from ELTs.  We firmly believe in a sustainable development model that can generate positive impacts on the region and for the community.”

Specifically, at Pollica the rubber recycled from ELTs was used to create a tennis court and a 7-a-side soccer field, the latter formed by a shock-absorbing sublayer made of recycled rubber on which the synthetic turf was installed with an infill made of ennobled rubber granules and sand.  These surfaces guarantee even better performances that natural turf fields: less need for maintenance such as mowing, watering, fertilizing, phytosanitary treatments, and reseeding; the possibility of playing all day and every day; the uniformity of the surfaces (without depressions, raised lumps, and puddles); resistance to different weather and seasonal conditions (for example immediately and completely draining rainwater).  The tennis court was also created starting with a shock-absorbing mat made of recycled rubber cast in place, which has the function of giving elasticity to the surface while at the same time allowing an excellent elastic return to the athlete.  A mantle of synthetic turf was then laid on top of this layer to guarantee the necessary grip even during the most challenging “exchanges”.