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Recycling Tennis Balls

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What do you do with your tennis balls after they lose their bounce and are no longer playable?  It is not unreasonable to assume that the vast majority of tennis players simply toss them away with the leftover meatloaf that has been in the refrigerator for the past month.  Did you know it is estimated to take approximately 450 years for tennis balls to decompose naturally?  Did you know that recycling centers do not current accept tennis balls?

So what is an environmentally conscious tennis player to do?  Each match a fresh new can of at least three balls is cracked open introducing fuzzy yellow balls into the wild.  In some instances these balls are used for another practice hitting session or two or perhaps added to ball hopper, but they eventually lose their bounce and become unplayable.  What happens then?

Rather than relegate them to ride in the big smelly truck to the nearest landfill, how about bringing them to us?  At Guts and Glory Tennis we are proud to serve as a tennis ball recycling center for any local tennis players.  We will gladly take your used and unwanted balls and extend their useful life cycle thus diverting them from the landfill.  We do not provide this service for any monetary gain, but rather as a public service to help those who want to recycle and reduce landfill waste.

“What do we do with the balls we collect?”  Well, we have several ways of putting them to good use.  First and foremost, the balls that still have decent felt are packaged and donated to a tennis ball recycling company called “reBounces.”  This company has a machine that uses a ball re-pressurization system, (called the Green Tennis Machine), to re-pressurize the balls.  The balls are then resold in bulk at a discounted price to tennis facilities, coaches, camps  and schools who use them in their coaching efforts.

We also receive calls fairly frequently from school systems and nursing homes who make use of used tennis balls.  In classrooms they are used on the feet of chairs and desks to reduce noise when chairs are moved on the flooring.  In nursing homes they are used on the legs of walkers to help them glide  more smoothly over the flooring.  When we have tennis balls on hand we provide them to these groups for no charge unless they are not local.  In those cases we do assess shipping costs.

Finally our favorite way to extend their useful life is to make them available to dog owners who want to use them to play fetch with their dogs.  We do need to advise that in some circles dog people are concerned about the dye used in tennis balls.  Based on our internet research, we believe the dyes used today to be harmless.  We do allow our dogs to play with tennis balls, but we still feel obligated to notify those seeking to use them for their dog to enjoy that there is a school of thought that advises against this.

So there you have it.  Next time you are about to throw away your tennis balls, stop!  Just drop them by our shoppe at 333 Main Street, Suite 200 in Suwanee, GA  (30024) and we will take it from there.  If you are not local and are interested in recycling tennis balls we suggest you visit

17 thoughts on “Recycling Tennis Balls

  1. Jin on said:

    Great Post, and thanks for the information.

    Like you, I myself just started my own tennis blog, and I would like it if you left a comment on my site. I would also like to know your feedback on how the site is, so would you please visit ?

    Thanks a bunch.

    • William Imbert on said:

      Hello, I too recycle tennis balls. I’ve been doing it for quite some time now. I even love going around the outskirts (over the fences) of tennis courts and getting all the balls that have long been forgotten and I find ones that have been there for decades :) In London, I got wise and asked someone working at the Regent’s Park tennis courts if they had any spare old balls. It turns out they did, something like 150. They usually donated them to a charity for dogs for old timers. I told them the balls were in better hands now because I would be giving them to children :) I continued doing my thing, up until yesterday. Yesterday I made the trip to a tennis center where I am now Zurich and asked about the tennis ball situation :) I was led to a drum of tennis balls, all to be thrown away when they close at the end of this month, October 2013. Amazing! There were about 470 balls in there. I took 75 yesterday in one backpack and then today 395 in three backpacks. Yesterday I went to the lake here, where you are allowed to do street performance, and did my usual thing. I realized I should stack them in a pyramid to bring order to my impromptu classroom. I can juggle 7 tennis balls and have been juggling tennis balls since I was 7 (this explains my passion :D ). So then I got to thinking, (I’ve been doing this street performance thing for four years now and started collecting tennis balls to give away as gifts to novitiate jugglers 6 months ago), I got to thinking and to make a long story short today I figured out how to make professional quality juggling balls from tennis balls (new or old) for about $.013
      You cut a slice in them with a knife, then use a funnel to pour sand in (seal cut with glue), this makes it heavy (making imperfect juggling matter less) and so that it doesn’t bounce all over when you mess up, then cut the mouth off of a balloon and stretch it over the mouth of a tennis ball half which is then used as an anchor to stretch the balloon around the tennis ball. A little part of the tennis ball will still be showing but it doesn’t matter, your hand and fingers still always come in contact with the grippy balloon. They also look really awesome.

      Inline image 1

      I came on the computer and ate something because I was having trouble going to bed and instead of watching TV I did some research and found you guys. I’m American. I hope you guys think my project is cool and I hope we can collaborate. Oh, my current shtick is selling the finished product for 3 francs — a good price
      Juggling balls of this type cost $8 and up at stores and online
      I also like that they are colorful – I’m truly in heaven – I do a lot of just like playing catch with kids on the street or playing roll haha the new colorful balls that can be purchased, like I said.. heaven
      I don’t know too much about you guys but maybe you think what I do is cool and perhaps we can work together to turn the deserts, abandoned tennis balls and water balloon fight refuse into juggling balls
      If we could get some sponsorship going, I’d be happy to make these or work with a team to make them or whatever and give them out for free on the street
      In Switzerland, juggling is a part of the national physical education curriculum, though kids here are just as in need of learning how to play nicely together, treat things nicely, share, take care, focus, etc. and just as thrilled as kids in China.

      • GGTennis on said:

        Glad you enjoy juggling and thank you for sharing thoughts on our blog. What you are doing is definitely very cool and I would be happy to supply tennis balls for you if you have a USA shipping address. Unfortunately I know nothing about juggling and it is outside of my business area so I am not going to be able to work with you in terms of creating/marketing your product. I wish you the best and if you are in need of tennis balls, we stand happy to assist.

  2. Kimarie Soule on said:

    I am a classroom teacher and would like to purchase some tennis balls for the feet of my chairs in my classroom. Can you help me out with that? I live in Maine so this might end up being a problem but I found your blog by searching for used tennis balls.


  3. Carla Hardy on said:

    I am a First grade classroom teacher and I am very interested in knowing how I might locate a place that will sell or donate me some used tennis balls for my classroom chairs for the school year about to begin in a week here in southeast Georgia.

    Thanks for you blog, attention, and time.

  4. Kayla on said:

    How can I buy recycled tennis balls? I would like to buy them for my dog because I figured it would be cheaper than buying a new can every time I run out.

  5. Maria G Anguiano on said:

    What a great way to help the environment and the community! ! Im also a teacher trying to find used tennis balls to use In my classroom. Your help will be grstly appreciated

  6. GGTennis on said:


    Thank you for your kind comment. We currently collect used tennis balls and provide them to many school teachers at no charge. Just us the contact us link on our web site and send us a message indicating how many balls you need as well as a shipping address. We do ask you to pay for shipping costs, but the balls are free.

    Tennis balls get heavy very fast and we have found there is a significant difference in cost when shipping to a business or school address as opposed to a home address. We suggest shipping to your school to save costs.

    Once we get a cost we will contact you with the cost for shipping. You can then make payment via phone (we accept Visa/MC/Discover or we can send a paypal request for payment, whichever you prefer.

  7. Amanda Capps on said:

    Hi there! I am a brand new teacher this year currently in search of some tennis balls for the legs of my chairs in my classroom! I read through your website and I understand that you recycle tennis balls, do you then turn around a sell them? I am interested in purchasing them for my classroom!

    Thank you,

  8. Bruce West on said:

    We are a small state institution, looking for tennis balls for chairs.

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  14. Andy on said:

    I run a small business in Derby UK buying used tennis balls. There are many uses for old tennis balls, they are particularly popular with dog owners/homes.
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