Plastic playgrounds attracting arsonists

July 20, 2008 2:09:04 PM PDT
New plastic playgrounds designed to make access easier for the disabled and encourage recycling have attracted unwelcome attention from arsonists in Central Valley cities. Arsonists have ignited plastic play equipment and rubber padding at three Clovis parks in the past two years. Fire also damaged a fourth playground. Authorities estimate the total damage at $110,000. In Fresno, an April playground fire will likely cost the city at least $50,000. Efforts to make playgrounds more accessible for the disabled have led cities to replace metal equipment with plastic. State waste management officials have encouraged the replacement of sand at playgrounds with rubber padding made from shredded tires, which burns more easily than other materials.

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