Have you ever stopped to think about the impact a used tennis ball has on the environment?
Tennis players are notorious for doing the right thing, especially when it comes to the environment. But they also want to play their best game, which is why they open a new can of balls almost every time they go on the courts. Fresh tennis balls bounce higher and respond better under pressure. A typical can of balls is pressurized around 12 psi (pounds per square inch). Since there is a lack of consistency in previously-played balls, and they lose their bounce over time, a new can of balls is a tennis staple.
The "Go Green" Mission:
To Derrick and Ryan Senior, both recreational tennis players, that kind of excessive waste is not acceptable. In 2017, they founded RecycleBalls, a non-profit organization committed to diverting millions of used tennis balls from landfills and converting them into environmentally-friendly products.
Tennis Express launched a campaign that encourages players, at every level, to participate by recycling their used tennis balls. RecycleBalls.org has the perfect program in place! It's easy, and tax deductible!
The program is called QUICKSHIP. Tennis Express customers, as well as tennis coaches, clubs, facilities and pros can simply visit www.RecycleBalls.org and click on the "Get Instant Label" icon. Simply follow the few easy steps to get your shipping label.
Tennis Express customers can use ANY box to collect more than 100 used tennis balls. Once the box is filled with used balls, it can be shipped via UPS directly to Recycle Balls headquarters in Vermont.
Once the box is received, a tax donation receipt is emailed to the donor, and the player can give themselves a hearty pat on the back for diverting used tennis balls from landfills across the country.
RecycleBalls.org has a system in place where the felt is mechanically removed through an eco-friendly process and the interior rubber components are converted into crumb rubber.
The massive machine processes as many as 8,000 balls per hour and everything is done organically, onsite. The results are a sustainable recycled material they like to dub ‘Green Gold’.
The crumb rubber, or Green Gold, is then used to manufacture a variety of products including equestrian footing and a new-age tennis court foundation. Made by LayKold Advanced Polymer Technology Corp. in Pennsylvania, the recreational surface is being touted as having excellent playability, durability, and better shock-absorption than standard tennis courts.
Though profitability remains low due to the pervasive rubber-tire business, Recycle Balls is determined to find other viable products, including revolutionary stucco for the construction industry, which will cost half the price of modern-day stucco. Conservationists are also making prototypes of shoe soles, clothing, pillows, stuffed animals, and more.
Receiving the majority of their support from strategic partners, corporate sponsors, dedicated volunteers, and proceeds from Green Gold, Recycle Balls acknowledge there are other tennis ball collection programs, including some curbside recyclers, but none to this degree.
Recyleballs currently works with over 1800 network partners nationally who have collected over 4 million tennis balls since 2017.
In 2019, RecycleBalls.org was named a Halo Award Finalist, recognized as North America’s top corporations for their social initiatives and consumer engagement programs.
Ready to Recycle?
You can get involved by:
- Recycling and reusing your tennis balls
- Sending used balls to RecycleBalls.org
- Donating online at www.RecycleBalls.org
- Encouraging other players to Go Green
Hoping for a day where no tennis ball is tossed into a landfill, Tennis Express and Recycle Balls are committed to raising awareness with this new partnership. Don't miss new news about this program, by subscribing to our Blog and following Tennis Express on all of your favorite social media platforms.
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