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Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines for Park and Recreation Products

EPA designated the following park and recreation products under the Comprehensive Procurement Guideline (CPG) program to promote the use of materials recovered from municipal soild waste (MSW). Recycled-content recommendations for each item are listed below.

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Park Benches and Picnic Tables

Park benches and picnic tables are typically found in parks, outdoor recreational facilities and on the grounds of office buildings. Recycled milk jugs and aluminum and steel cans can be used to manufacture these items.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled content levels for purchasing park benches and picnic tables as shown in the table below.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels
for Park Benches and Picnic Tables
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%) Total Recovered Materials Content (%)
Park Benches and Picnic Tables Plastics1 90-100 100
Plastic composites 50-100 100
Aluminum 25 25
Concrete -- 15-40
Steel2 16
67
25-30
100

¹Plastics includes both single and mixed plastic resins. Park benches and picnic tables made with recovered plastics may also contain other recovered materials such as sawdust, wood or fiberglass. The percentage of these materials contained in the product would also count toward the recovered materials content level of the item.
2The recommended recovered materials content levels for steel in this table reflect the fact that the designated items can be made from steel manufactured in either a Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) or an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). Steel from the BOF process contains 25-30 percent total recovered materials, of which 16 percent is postconsumer steel. Steel from the EAF process contains a total of 100 percent recovered steel, of which 67 percent is postconsumer.

Product Specifications

Plastic lumber cannot be tested using the same tests already developed for virgin plastic. Tests on virgin plastic are performed on small cross-sections of the material. This is an accurate indicator of how the virgin plastic will perform as it is a homogeneous material. Plastic lumber, however, is not homogeneous in its construction, so tests on a cross-section of this material do not accurately predict how a length of lumber will perform in certain circumstances. For this reason, new test methods have been developed for lengths of lumber. These test methods apply to all types of plastic lumber or equivalent materials that are not homogeneous at the cross-section. For all the test methods listed for plastic lumber see the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) website Exit.

Specific ASTM test methods are as follows:The following links exit the site Exit

For more information on EPA’s product research on park benches and picnic tables, please see the Technical Background Document for CPG III/RMAN III.

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Plastic Fencing

Plastic fencing containing recovered materials can be used to control drifting snow and sand and as a warning or safety barrier at construction sites. Plastic fencing used in these applications goes by many names — snow fencing, temporary fencing, beach or dune fencing, warning barrier and safety barrier. Such fencing is constructed from recovered and postconsumer high-density polyethylene (HDPE) in an open-weave pattern or from wood slats held together with wire strands. EPA's designation specifically covers plastic fencing containing recovered plastic.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing plastic fencing for specified uses as shown in the table below.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Fencing Containing Recovered Plastic1
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%) Total Recovered Materials Content (%)
Plastic Fencing Plastic 60-100 90-100

1Designation includes fencing containing recovered plastic for use in controlling snow or sand drifting and as a warning/safety barrier in construction or other applications.

Product Specifications

The state of New York had a specification for orange-colored plastic fencing used for snow barriers, warning barriers, and safety barriers but discontinued its use because the state did not purchase enough fencing to warrant maintaining the specification. Height varied, depending on application, from 4 to 6 feet. Weight varied from 17 pounds per 100-foot section for warning barriers to 48 pounds per 100-foot section for snow fencing to 66 pounds per 100-foot section for 6-foot safety barrier fencing. The New York specification also addressed mesh size, porosity, service temperature range, and strength for each application. Although this is no longer available, the paragraph above may help to prescribe helpful attributes for you.

For more information on EPA’s product research for plastic fencing, please see the Technical Background Document for RMAN II.

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Playground Equipment

Slides, swings, climbing equipment, merry-go-rounds, and seesaws are all different types of playground equipment. These items can be made with recovered wood, steel, aluminum, HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE and PP. A typical set of playground equipment made with recovered-content plastic lumber can contain plastic recovered from between 31,500 and 63,000 milk and water jugs.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled content levels for purchasing playground equipment as shown in the table below.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Playground Equipment
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%) Total Recovered MaterialsContent (%)
Playground Equipment Plastics1 90-100 100
Plastic composites 50-75 95-100
Steel2 16
67
25-30
100
Aluminum 25 25

1Plastics includes both single and mixed plastic resins. Playground equipment made with recovered plastics may also contain other recovered materials such as wood or fiberglass. The percentage of these materials contained in the product would also count toward the recovered materials content level of the item.
2The recommended recovered materials content levels for steel in this table reflect the fact that the designated items can be made from steel manufactured in either a Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) or an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF). Steel from the BOF process contains 25-30 percent total recovered materials, of which 16 percent is postconsumer steel. Steel from the EAF process contains a total of 100 percent recovered steel, of which 67 percent is postconsumer.

Product Specifications

EPA recommends that procuring agencies use the specifications found in the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Publication No. 325 (Handbook for Public Playground Safety) and ASTM standard F-1487-95, Safety Performance Specifications for Playground Equipment for Public Use Exit, when procuring playground equipment. Playground equipment may also be subject to state and local codes and standards as well as Federal child safety laws.

EPA also recommends that procuring agencies use the ASTM specifications listed below for playground equipment made from plastic lumber. For all the test methods listed for plastic lumber see the ASTM website.Exit

Specific ASTM test methods are as follows:The following links exit the site Exit

For more information on EPA’s product research on recovered-content playground equipment, please see the Technical Background Document for CPG III/RMAN III.

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Playground Surfaces

Playground surfaces are made of rubber or plastic.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing playground surfaces as shown in the table below.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Playground Surfaces¹, ²
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%)
Playground Surfaces Rubber or Plastic 90-100

1EPA's recommendation does not preclude procuring agencies from purchasing playground surfaces manufactured from another material. It simply recommends that procuring agencies, when purchasing playground surfaces made from rubber or plastic, purchase these items made from recovered materials.
2The recommended recovered materials content levels are based on the dry weight of the raw materials, exclusive of any additives such as adhesives, binders, or coloring agents.

Product Specifications

  • Federal agency installations must comply with applicable state or local construction codes.
  • The Consumer Products Safety Commission requires that playground surfaces meet certain performance standards to reduce head injuries, including ASTM specification F 1292Exit, pertaining to impact attenuation standards.
  • Playground surfacing must also comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, which provides that mobility-impaired persons cannot be prohibited from access to public places.

For more information on EPA’s product research on playground surfaces, please see the Technical Background Document for RMAN I.

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Running Tracks

Running tracks can contain both recovered rubber and plastic. Running tracks made with recovered rubber have been constructed at universities, schools, military bases, the U.S. Olympics and at the White House.

EPA's Recovered Materials Advisory Notice (RMAN) recommends recycled-content levels for purchasing running tracks as shown in the table below.

Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels for Running Tracks1,2
Product Material Postconsumer Content (%):
Running Tracks Rubber or Plastic 90-100

1EPA's recommendation does not preclude procuring agencies from purchasing running tracks manufactured from another material. It simply recommends that procuring agencies, when purchasing running tracks made from rubber or plastic, purchase these items made from recovered materials.
2The recommended recovered materials content levels are based on the dry weight of the raw materials, exclusive of any additives such as adhesives, binders, or coloring agents.

Product Specifications

Federal agency installations must comply with applicable state or local construction codes.

For more information on EPA’s product research on running tracks, please see the Technical Background Document for RMAN I.

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