Recycle Your Tennis Balls!

by W. Parker MacLure
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Tennis players take note! Last fall Tufts Recycles started recycling tennis balls! When your ball has reached the end of its playable life, rather than throwing it away please place the dead ball one of the large clear bins with a picture of a tennis ball on the side (see image below). Right now, during the winter, the bins are located in the Gantcher Center near the bathrooms and bleachers. During the spring, summer, and fall the bins will be located at both entrances to the Voute Tennis Courts (the blue ones on Professors Row).

Currently there are only re-use applications for tennis balls and no accepted recycle tennis ball binmethods. Traditional re-use applications include putting them on the legs of chairs and using them as dog toys. Also a company called ReBounces  balls to extend their playable life. Reuse methods simply extend the life of the ball, delaying when it arrives in a landfill.

Frustrated by this problem, the members of Tufts Recycles did some research and found Project Green Ball (PGB), the largest tennis ball recycler in the United States. PGB is a nonprofit organization that recycles tennis balls to be used in the construction of surfaces that are donated to organizations that help people with disabilities and life threatening diseases. Currently they work with IGK Equestrian grind up the tennis balls and use them as a component in horse arena turf. This turf is then donated to therapeutic riding centers that help people with disabilities or life threatening diseases. PGB is also looking into the possibility of recycling the balls to use as insulation in buildings; however, this is still in the testing stages.

For more information visit the Project Green Ball website or Facebook page. And don’t forget to recycle your dead balls!