Grant will improve safety at Lewis Centre waterpark

The City of Courtenay has been awarded $10,000 towards a project to improve safety at the waterpark at the Lewis Centre.

The City of Courtenay has been awarded $10,000 towards a project to improve safety at the waterpark at the Lewis Centre.

“There is a grant available for rubber coating so we’d applied for it, and it just would reduce the number of slips and falls that we have there,” said acting City parks manager John Allen. “Every year, we have to put various products on to try and control that, and we’re looking for a long-term solution.”

Allen said this rubber coating seems to work for the long-term, and added that it’s the same material used at the playground near the Courtenay Airpark, although it won’t be as thick when it goes on the water park.

The grant, from Tire Stewardship BC (TSBC), will be put towards the purchase of recycled crumb rubber, which comes from recycled tires.

Allen said he hopes to have the new rubber coating on the water park when it opens this coming mid-May to early June. However, he added that he has to wait for the City’s budget to be finalized in the spring before he has a firm date of when the work will start.

According to a TSBC news release, over half a million pounds of tires have been kept out of provincial landfills, and 29 communities and no-for-profit organizations in BC have received a total $556,318 to be put towards using crumb rubber in various community projects.

“This amounts to nearly 38,000 tires that were kept out of landfills and instead were recycled for use in playgrounds, water parks and indoor and outdoor athletic facilities,” says TSBC executive director Mike Hennessy.

“In total, TSBC’s Community Grant Program recycled more than 680,000 pounds of rubber tires in 2011, benefiting the environment and helping to build BC’s economy.”

Funding for the Community Grant Program comes directly from the Advance Disposal Fee or “eco-fee” that each retailer remits to TSBC for every new tire sold. These fees go directly towards the operation of the BC-based scrap tire recycling program, including the transportation and recycling of scrap tires to ensure they are disposed of in environmentally responsible ways, such as recycling into rubber products.

Since  the scrap tire recycling program was launched in 1991, more than 50 million vehicle tires have been recycled in the province.

Allen said it’s a great use for old tires and he expects the coating will work well on the water park surface.

“I think it’s win-win,” said Allen. “We’re finding a use for recyclables and I would say that it’s improving the safety, in this case, of the water park.”

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