Rubber Mulch - Opinions

I have been thinking about going with rubber mulch around my shrubs. I know it is more expensive but between putting down another inch or two every year and the 2-3 times per season of breaking the mulch up, i think the cost is worth it. I have been reading positives and negatives on the internet but because the positives are from the manufacturer and the negatives are from organic based groups, it is hard to get a "honest" opinion plus most of the info i have been finding is 2-3 years old. Any one have recent experiences they would like to share? I am looking at Rubberstuff and Rubberific...leaning towards Rubberific due to the their grind of the rubber.
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Me wrote:

No experience but if this stuff is ground up tires, I don't think I would want it around my house because of possible persistant nature of rubber additives and curing agents. Frank
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I have never used it either but I am wondering whether the stuff will get strewn round your garden, lawn etc. This type of stuff is used in childrens play grounds and often contained by raised boxing. If it is fine and not properly contained how easy is it to pick up from places you don't want it? How easily will it get mixed in with soil?
I use wood sahving mulch under a hedge and this stuff gets moved on to the lawn by animals. It does some damage to the lawn but will decay after a period of time. Rubber chips won't quickly regrade.
rob
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George.com wrote:

I thought about this and my personal opinion is that whatever chemicals are present will be highly diluted or degrade and not have any toxic effect. OTOH there is the public perception - call it chemophobia - where others will be concerned. Thus, if they see it around your house, it will detract from perceived value of property. So, that is main reason I would not use it.
Frank
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I wasn't so much concerned with chemicals Frank, more wondering about it getting mixed in with soil and becoming a persisent pain in the arse. I have found bark mulch eventually gets mixed in to the soil and becomes a headache. Rubber will just exist that much longer in the garden. Fare better use a wood chip mulch I reckon as it will degrade if/when combined with soil. Unless the garden will never be tilled I doubt I would use it.
rob
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The rubber will degrade but not in the biological sense. Contact with microbes, bugs and other stuff in soil will have no effect but eventually sunlight and oxidation in air will turn hydrocarbon rubber to dust. It would be hard to put a number on but I doubt if it would degrade faster than wood chips. I've had cheap bicycle tires on bike in garage fall apart in a year but I've seen thrown away tires in a field last for years. Guess it depends on how good the rubber antioxidant package was. I've been assuming these rubber chips are ground up tires. Some of the zinc/sulfur curing agents were given a bad press by environmentalists. Unfortunately you cannot recycle rubber back into tires.
Frank
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