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EZ Roll Grass and Gravel Pavers

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EZ Roll Grass and Gravel Pavers are permeable paving systems that provide a honeycomb matrix to retain grass or gravel and prevent soil compaction while allowing water to pass through… Read more
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  • Using materials recovered from the waste stream typically results in less waste, pollution, and energy use than using virgin materials. From an environmental standpoint, post-consumer is typically considered preferable to pre-consumer recycled content because post-consumer recycled materials are more likely to have been diverted from landfills.

    In some cases, we consider products with recycled content green but with some caveats regarding where they should be used. For example, rubber flooring made from recycled automobile tires should not be used in most fully enclosed indoor spaces due to the likelihood of VOC emissions.

    Recycling can have downsides. For example, some studies show that curbside collection programs and some recycling processes use more energy than they save. Closed-loop recycling is generally preferable to “down-cycling,” in which a lower-grade material is produced—but due to contamination of waste streams and the difficulty of extracting high-value ingredients, down-cycling may be as good as it gets. At times recycling can re-introduce hazardous components. Some products, like copper and aluminum, include a high level of recycled content as a matter of course—which we applaud, but don’t consider justification for listing in GreenSpec. As more complete life-cycle information on recycled materials and processes becomes available, we use that to increase our scrutiny of recycled products.

  • Pre-consumer (also called “post-industrial”) recycling refers to the reuse of industrial by-products, as distinguished from material that has been in consumer use. The iron-ore slag used to make mineral wool insulation and the fly ash used to make concrete are examples of post-industrial recycled materials. While post-consumer recycled content is preferable, a product that uses pre-consumer content or recycles a seldom-used waste product, especially in an area where recycled products are hard to find, can be considered green.

    Excluded from this category, by FTC definitions, is the use of scrap within the same manufacturing process from which it was generated—material that would typically have gone back into the manufacturing process anyway.

  • Stormwater runoff from the built environment, often mixed with contaminants, has a damaging effect on local and downstream ecosystems. Porous paving products and vegetated roofing systems result in less rainwater runoff and thereby reduce surface water pollution. Stormwater treatment systems reduce pollutant levels in any water that is released. Again, quantifiable benefit and a strong track record are important determinants here of “green.”

Brent Ehrlich
Products Editor

EZ Roll Grass and Gravel Pavers are permeable paving systems that provide a honeycomb matrix to retain grass or gravel and prevent soil compaction while allowing water to pass through. The product averages approximately 70% recycled HDPE plastic, though this varies by color and availability. EZ Roll Grass Pavers, with an empty compressive strength of 57,890 psf, are recommended for bike paths, driveways, parking lots, and access roads, as well as soil stabilization and erosion-control applications. EZ Roll Gravel Pavers, with an empty compressive strength of 66,000 psf, are additionally recommended for vehicle wash-down areas and boat access. Gravel pavers are available in tan, black, brick red, and gray, but some colors contain no recycled material. EZ Roll Pavers are 1" high and come in various dimensions, most commonly 4'x150' rolls.

Porous paving seeks to combine the load-carrying capacity we expect of paved areas with the rainwater-infiltration qualities of natural ground cover.

Plastic porous paving systems typically consist of a grid or web of openings that can be planted with grass or filled with gravel to encourage absorption of rainwater and reduce the likelihood of erosion, flooding, and pollution that can be associated with stormwater runoff. All porous paving systems must be installed over a carefully engineered subsurface that acts as a reservoir for stormwater. This allows pollutants to break down slowly beneath the paved area instead of contaminating surface water.

In addition to managing stormwater, porous paving systems planted with grass also minimize contributions to the urban heat-island effect while providing visually appealing outdoor space.

With plastic porous paving systems, look for recycled content—and avoid systems that are difficult to remove later (such as those with free fibers that are mixed with the soil) if needs change.

LEED Credits

MRc4: Recycled Content

SSc6: Stormwater Quantity Control

SSc6.1: Stormwater Design—Quantity Control

SSc6.2: Stormwater Design—Quality Control

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