Project Green Ball® is a tax exempt, non-profit, sustainability initiative to coordinate innovative recycling programs for used tennis balls and to donate surfaces based on the recycled balls to organizations servicing people with disabilities or life threatening diseases.
Three hundred million tennis balls are manufactured worldwide each year (with over 125 million used in the US) and tons of balls are discarded into landfills each year. The balls decompose very slowly and take up space in landfills, reportedly producing methane gas and contributing to global warming. Everyone is aware of reuse applications for tennis balls – bottoms of chairs and walkers and as toys for dogs. But there is a limit to how many balls each year can be put to this purpose. And, even if reused, ultimately these balls still remain in the waste stream and wind up in landfills. There is no industry solution to recycling tennis balls.
Project Green Ball Overview
Project Green Ball is devoted to finding innovative means to recycle used tennis balls and we need your support and balls to make this a success.
We have a number of innovative recycling projects ongoing and ideas for recycling.
We have teamed with IGK Equestrian, a leading equestrian turf provide, to produce equestrian arena turf based on ground tennis balls. So far there are two ball-based turfs in use. The Dana Hall School in Wellesley, Massachusetts, purchased and installed a ball-based turf to replace its old equestrian arena turf. A second turf containing over 45,000 tennis balls was installed at EquiCenter, Inc., a therapeutic riding program in Honeoye Falls, NY.
Wilson Sporting Goods has gotten behind Project Green Ball and supported the shipment of over 51,000 balls. USTA New England, local clubs, camps, schools and individuals have also supported us with over 194,000 balls. We are collecting additional balls from high school and college tennis teams and tennis clubs to make this a community sustainability solution.
We also are working with a developer in Kansas on an innovative construction use for tennis balls and a playground provider to explore ground tennis ball based play surfaces. And we are inspired by the French Tennis Federation’s Operation Balle Jaune which this year will collect over 1,600,000 balls and has created over 13 rubberized sports surfaces made from tennis ball rubber for kids in need.
In exchange for delivery of 200,000 balls to our equestrian turf provider, IGK Equestrian has agreed to donate a ball-based equestrian surface to a therapeutic riding center servicing people with disabilities.
Our First Donation!
In late August 2014 we collected our 200,000th ball. After discussion and evaluation of a number of therapeutic riding programs, we worked with IGK Equestrian to donate our first riding surface to The Shared Living Collaborative (SLC) in Merrimac, Massachusetts. The SLC provides a variety of foster-care, in-home, day and residential services to children and adults with developmental disabilities primarily in the Merrimack Valley area. The SLC embraces principles of sustainability, social and environmental responsibility, and holds the belief that everyone, regardless of challenges encountered, can live a productive, bountiful, and fulfilled life embedded in the community and every facet of society. The SLC strongly believes and incorporates principles and activities grounded in Eco Therapy such as Therapeutic Horseback Riding, Hippo Therapy, Equine Assisted Learning, and Carriage Driving.
A photo of the current facility at The SLC is below. The new ball-based turf at The SLC is set to be installed in the July/August 2015 timeframe. Stay tuned for further developments as we follow the installation of the turf at The SLC.
Where you can send your dead balls
We are looking forward to collecting another 200,000 balls to donate a second turf to a therapeutic riding program. So if have balls to donate, you can send them to:
North Brook Farms
89 York St.
Auburn, NY 13021
Attn: Peter Kyle
If you send your balls, please let us know so that we can include them in our tally.
How You Fit In
As Project Green Ball is a community sustainability initiative, we need your help. Specifically, we need your used tennis balls and your ideas as to how to recycle balls.
In addition, we are looking for sponsorships and financial support for Project Green Ball. We are interested in establishing relationships with logistics providers, as well as academies, teams, tennis clubs and others interested in promoting this sustainability initiative.
If you want to help, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss opportunities. We look forward to working with you to make the world a cleaner and better place to live! And to turning our collection efforts into tangible results for people with disabilities and life threatening diseases.
Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ProjectGreenBall.