Approximately 125 million tennis balls end up in landfills every year. Knowing how to recycle tennis balls can help the environment and make the game as sustainable as possible.
You can recycle tennis balls in a few easy ways.
Whether through mailing them to a recycling center or finding new and creative uses at home.
Here are 6 easy ways to recycle tennis balls today. Plus, tips and resources to get you started! And remember to take advantage of our special discount below to save money on eco-friendly products.
6 Easy Ways to Recycle Tennis Balls Today
1. Use the RecycleBalls Mail-in Service
The most popular way to recycle tennis balls is using a mail-in service. Mail-in services allow you to ship your tennis balls to a facility that recycles them in an eco-friendly manner. The best mail-in service we know of is called RecycleBalls.
What is RecycleBalls?
RecycleBalls is a nonprofit that takes used tennis balls from all across the country and turns them into something new.
They are sponsored by Wilson and have helped save over 11 million tennis balls from landfills.
How Does RecyleBalls Work?
RecycleBalls grounds up the tennis bells, separates the felt from the rubber, and uses the rubber biproduct to create something brand new! The rubber biproduct is called GreenGold.
They use it in the construction of tennis courts, playgrounds, stucco, equestrian footing, and other projects. Their machine can recycle 10,000 tennis balls per hour!
Essentially, they take an item that would have gone to the landfill and use it to create new products that can help the community!
How Can I Donate My Tennis Balls to RecycleBalls?
If you have 100 or more tennis balls to donate, then you can visit the RecyleBalls website and purchase a $20 shipping label.
RecycleBalls will immediately email you the shipping label. Then, box up your tennis balls, apply the shipping label, and drop off your shipment anywhere UPS picks up or delivers.
It is that easy! And because RecycleBalls is a nonprofit, you will also receive a generous tax deduction for your donation.
What if I Don’t Have 100 Tennis Balls to Donate?
If you don’t have 100 or more tennis balls then go to your local pro shop or tennis club and ask if they have a recycling program.
A lot of them use bins from RecycleBalls or other similar organizations and ship them in bulk.
Alternatively, you can visit the US Tennis Association website and go to their recycling page. They provide an email address to reach out to.
Just send them your name and the number of tennis balls you would like to donate and they will try to help you donate them.
Finally, if none of those ideas work then try and team up with friends, colleagues, and playing partners to collect 100 used tennis balls so you can ship them to RecycleBalls.
If there is a will there is a way! And you won’t regret helping our planet and your community.
2. Donate them Animal Shelters or Dog Daycares
Dogs and cats love to play with tennis balls. Hundreds of animal shelters and dog daycare businesses across the country would appreciate a donation of tennis balls for their animals.
Contact your local animal shelter or pet business and ask if they would like a donation of tennis balls. The tennis balls you offer don’t have to be perfect. Just ensure they are in good enough condition for the animals to play with.
Donating your tennis balls helps extend their useful life and helps others.
3. Contact Your Local School or Childcare Center
Additionally, you can contact your local school or childcare center to see if they would like a donation of tennis balls.
They could be used in gym classes or after school activities or be put on the bottom of chairs or other furniture to decrease noise in the building and prevent scratches on the floors.
Schools often have limited budget so might appreciate a donation of tennis balls in good condition.
4. Donate them to Nursing Homes or Senior Centers
Similarly, you can recycle tennis balls by donating them to a local nursing home or senior center.
Aside from applications on furniture and walkers, tennis balls can be used for increasing strength and coordination.
They can also be used for recreation, physical therapy, stress relief, and arts and crafts.
Your local organizations might have a great use for an item you would otherwise throw away!
Give them a call or send them an email asking to donate! Or better yet, visit in-person and ask for ways to help.
5. Upcycle them to Use at Home
Another way to recycle tennis balls is to get creative and use them at home.
If you can’t find anyone to donate them to, then look around your house or apartment and see how they can help you.
For instance, a lot of athletes use tennis balls to loosen tight muscles in their back, shoulders, feet, hips, or legs.
Lie down on a soft surface such as the carpet, a rug, or yoga mat. Place the tennis ball on the floor and gently apply pressure by laying on it. Let your body weight sink into the tennis ball and gently roll back and forth to massage the area.
It is a great, inexpensive way to relieve pain that can save you money!
Alternatively, a lot of people use tennis balls in their garage as a parking gauge. They hang an old tennis ball from the ceiling using some string, and when they park their car they know to stop when they hit the tennis ball.
6. Use them for DIY Arts and Crafts
Finally, you can use tennis balls for all kinds of arts and crafts.
You can make a keychain holder, an ornament, a mobile, a picture holder, a tennis ball wreath, as well as wall art made from tennis balls.
The possibilities are endless!
Recycle tennis balls by giving them a new life as a one-of-a-kind piece of art that you create!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why are tennis balls bad for the environment?
Tennis balls are made from durable rubber and felt. Those materials make them great for use on the court. However, they are not biodegradable and can pollute the environment for hundreds of years.
What’s more, tennis balls generally have a short useful life. It doesn’t take long before they lose bounce and pressure. Sometimes sessions last an hour or an hour and a half before the tennis ball isn’t fit for play.
As a result, approximately 125 million used tennis balls wind up in America’s landfills every year. Those tennis balls sit in landfills where they take over 400 years to decompose.
Furthermore, they produce 20,000 metric tons of methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming.
While tennis balls are fun to play with, they are not easy to recycle and can contribute to waste and pollution.
2. Why is recycling tennis balls important
Recycling tennis balls decreases our carbon footprint, conserves resources, and helps reduce pollution and stops global warming.
Plus, recycling tennis balls can help create new products that can help the community such as tennis courts, stucco, and rubber mulch for playgrounds.
3. Are tennis balls compostable?
Tennis balls are not compostable. They do not break down naturally over time which means they must be recycled to avoid further pollution.
4. Is recycling tennis balls worth it?
In our opinion, recycling tennis balls is worth it because it helps the planet and creates new products that help society.
While recycling tennis balls might seem like a pain for some, it is much better than sending them to the landfill where they will sit for 400 years producing harmful greenhouse gases.
With a little creativity, you can recycle tennis balls by giving them new life and saving them from the landfill.
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