Project Green Ball® is the voluntary product stewardship organization of the tennis industry. We are a tax exempt, non-profit, sustainability initiative to coordinate innovative recycling programs for used tennis balls. We support a variety of recycling programs, some of which result in the donation of surfaces based on 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.
Tennis Balls into Cushioned Mats for Tennis Court Surfaces
Since 2013 we have been working with Ace Surfaces, Advanced Polymer Technologies, ECORE International, and HABU to develop cushioned mats with dead tennis balls for tennis court surfaces. The New York Times featured this project in an article during the 2016 US Open.
Project Green Ball provided over 25,000 balls in the research and development phases of this project in order to help Ace Surfaces and Advanced Polymer Technologies perfect its ball based cushioned court system. Ace Surfaces has recently announced its Laykold Masters 5 and Laykold Masters 8 systems using dead tennis balls in its court mat system. In early September 2015, Ace Surfaces installed 8 cushioned tennis court in Tenafly, NJ with a shock pad that absorbs up to 10,000 recycled tennis balls in a single tennis court.
Project Green Ball participates in this innovative use of tennis balls in tennis court systems. For every 200,000 balls which we deliver to the manufacturer, a ball based surface will be donated to a program for people with disabilities.
If you want to participate in this program, please package up your balls and and send them to The Tennis Ball Project. The balls will be recycled into the mat underlayment for cushioned court surfaces. Contributors pay the cost of the boxes for shipment and the Project pays the shipping fees. The info for shipment is available at http://tennisballcourts.com/how-and-where-to-recycle/.
Tennis Balls into Equestrian Turf for People with Disabilities – THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED.
In the past we teamed with IGK Equestrian, a leading equestrian turf provide, to produce equestrian arena turf based on ground tennis balls. Three ball-based turfs were produced and are 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. Project Green Ball worked with EquiCenter to obtain a $10,000 grant from the UPS Foundation to fund purchase of this ball-based turf.
In exchange for delivery of 200,000 balls to our equestrian turf provider, IGK Equestrian donated a ball-based equestrian surface to a therapeutic riding center servicing people with disabilities. In September 2015, a riding surface with over 100,000 dead tennis balls was donated 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.
Unfortunately, IGK is no longer accepting tennis balls. So the equestrian turf program is no longer active.
A photo of the new facility with ground tennis ball turf at the SLC is below.
Where you can send your dead balls
Please package up your balls and and send them to The Tennis Ball Project. Contributors pay the cost of the boxes for shipment and the Project pays the shipping fees. The info for shipment is available at http://tennisballcourts.com/how-and-where-to-recycle/.
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.