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Grass Grift

L. A. company Turf Terminators promised low impact lawns in exchange for city rebates, but delivered shoddy work and hot rocks.
October 13, 2016, 6am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Los Angeles has been in the grips of a deep drought for the last five years. Looking for ways to decrease its water use, the city offered its residents rebates to convert lawns to more sustainable, drip-fed grass alternatives using something like mulch, which might hold rain water without consuming it the way grass would. Enter Turf Terminators: a company that promised to replace lawns for the cost of a rebate. According to a Bloomberg story by Anna Scott, the company did more harm than good.

Because of what many called slapdash work and low quality materials, some of the practices meant to decrease water consumption may have increased it. "Gravel radiates more heat than lawns, dead or thriving, helping to create, along with AstroTurf and paving, what environmentalists consider an urban heat island." Extra heat, means extra evaporation, leaving some with the worst of both worlds, neither a verdant lawn nor water savings. As for Turf Terminators, they too have evaporated, their website says they are not "accepting new customers." According to Scott, they laid off 450 employees changed their name to Build Savings and, as of October 10, had a disconnected phone line.

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Published on Monday, October 10, 2016 in Bloomberg
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