Basketball is one of the world's most popular team sports, played in backyards, gyms, and playgrounds around the world. But whether you're a casual player or a pro, one question you might not consider is what to do with your old or damaged basketballs once they're no longer usable. The reality is, most balls end up in landfills where they can take hundreds of years to decompose. But there are sustainable solutions! In this blog, I'll explore how you can repurpose, recycle, or compost your basketballs, keeping them out of landfills and prolonging their lifespan.
Repurpose Your Basketball
Firstly, consider the ways you can repurpose your basketball. If it's still in decent shape, look for local youth programs, community centers, or schools that may be in need of new equipment. You could also donate it to a local charity or thrift store for someone else to use. Another option is to use the ball in a different way- snag a sharpie and use it as a unique decoration on your bookshelf or mantle. Or, slice it in half, fill it with concrete, and use it as a quirky doorstop.
Recycle Your Basketball
If your ball is beyond repair, recycling is the next best option. Unfortunately, not all municipalities accept basketballs in recycling programs, so make sure to check with your local waste management company. Alternatively, check out places like TerraCycle, who specialize in diverting hard-to-recycle items from landfills. They even have a basketball recycling program! Before tossing your ball in the trash, always check for recycling options nearby.
Compost Your Basketball
Did you know basketballs can be composted? TPU (like used in Eco Sports Balls) & Rubber is biodegradable and can break down naturally, making it a great candidate for composting. To get started, make sure to remove any metal pieces from the ball (like the air valve) before cutting it up into manageable pieces. If you don't compost at home, check with a local community garden or composting site to see if they'll accept your ball. This method may not be the most popular, but it's certainly sustainable and a unique way to dispose of your old basketball.
There are a multitude of ways to dispose of your old or damaged basketball that will keep it from ending up in a landfill. Repurposing, recycling, and composting are three eco-friendly options to consider before discarding your ball. While not all options may be available in your area, taking the time to research and explore these options not only helps the environment but also reduces the consumption of new resources. With a little creativity and intentionality, we can keep our favorite childhood toys and memories alive in a sustainable way.