Trent University will become the first university in Ontario to install permeable grid paving—an environmental innovation made popular in Europe—when they add about 100 parking spots this summer to their Symons Campus in Peterborough.
The environmentally-friendly parking solution is created using 100% recycled plastic, helping to curb plastic pollution as it does not require the use of asphalt—often a byproduct of the petroleum industry. Similar parking systems are being used in countries around the world, in a variety of settings such as agriculture, parks and industrial spaces.
Photo of Symons Campus courtesy Trent University
“Our campus is growing and we need to balance that growth with our commitment to the environment,” says Kent Stringham, vice-president, Finance and Administration at Trent University. “This innovative and environmental solution to meeting campus demands boasts a number of ecological benefits including the ability to plant grass within the grid, better drainage, and less required road salt in the winter. It’s a win-win for Trent and for our environment.” HOW PERMEABLE GRID PAVING SYSTEMS WORK
They are installed as a series of recycled plastic interlocking grid on top of land which can then be filled with grass or gravel. The system offers a host of environmental benefits including reduction of flood risk and increased capacity for storm-water management. The permeable parking grids are weather-resistant, can be plowed, and require far less salt in the winter—significantly lessening impact on nearby animal habitats.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THIS PROJECT
• utilize 35,640 pounds of recycled plastic • detain 64,627 gallons of stormwater • save 162.9 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of planting 34,295 trees