Facilities are the solution!

Tennis players want to recycle their tennis balls

Three ways to get involved:

  • The Quickship Program (below) – A comprehensive collection program for facilities.
  • On demand 10 pack – A ten pack of our most popular collection bins with prepaid shipping labels. 
  • Outdoor Bins – Unique outdoor recycling solutions. 

The Quickship Program

The RecycleBalls QUICKSHIP Program gives tennis facilities everything needed to provide a comprehensive turn-key tennis ball recycling solution.


What is included in the Program?

  • Once an application has been approved, a setup package will be sent to you consisting of a 10 pack of bins, posters, and instructions. These bins come with pre-attached, prepaid UPS shipping labels.
  • Each bin holds exactly 200 balls. A 10 pack is good for 2000 balls.
  • You will receive a tax deduction for every ball shipped to us. Many of our partner facilities claim .30 – .40 per ball.
  • You will receive awards at 3000, 5000, and 10,000 balls shipped.
  • All bins are tracked and you will receive replacement bins automatically.
  • Dedicated ongoing customer service.
  • The RecycleBalls newsletter.


What are the benefits of this program?

  • For your players: court-side convenience.
  • For your organization: a green “feel good” that players will love.
  • For the environment: A sustainable solution that reduces landfill waste.
  • For your bottom line: a significant potential tax benefit.


How can we get started?

  • Simply fill in the form on the right and you will be given several options. 
  • Facilities can start this program on a 3-month basis and then acquire a sponsor to fund and extend this program or sign up for our no-cost waitlist (currently at  6 months).
  • Sponsorships provide a way to help you cover the costs of providing our programs to your members. We provide Sponsor in 3 steps! tools to make this easy. Facilities that take either STEP1 or STEP 2 here typically acquire a sponsor right away.  Sponsor FAQ’s are below.
  • We started this as a no-cost program in 2017 when we were much smaller. Unfortunately, given increased demand, we are no longer able to sustainably cover these costs. 


Our non-profit depends on 200+ balls (one or more bins) being returned to us within 30-60 days of the setup or the last bin shipment. This also lets us know that you are engaged and have fully deployed the program.

Please try to ship each bin as soon as it is full. Holding on to full bins or shipping them all at once may cause a delay in replenishment.

About 10 minutes a week for a typical facility. We have made this very easy. Please go to our Tips and Instructions page for our 8 success tips.

We will be providing you continuous dedicated support for this program. Besides posters to make this program visible to your players, we also provide awards when you send us 3000, 5000, and 10,000 balls! These awards serve to let your tennis players know that they are making a difference in their community and encourages everyone to recycle their tennis balls. Questions, ideas? We love hearing from our partners!

Full bins (200 balls) are brought to the front desk or anywhere UPS ships, where they will be automatically picked up by UPS without further notice. An automated system continuously ensures optimum inventory levels. Court-side bins typically fill up in 3-6 weeks.


Sponsorships provide a way to help you cover the costs of providing our programs to your members. Many of our facilities initially sign up for 3 or 6 months and then find a local player, team or business to fund and extend this sponsorship  for your facility.

Sponsorship Levels

3 months    – $195  
6 months    – $372  
12 months – $600

All sponsorships will renew automatically for the same period unless canceled. Sponsorships can be canceled anytime. 

  • All donations here are tax-deductible and you will receive a donation receipt.
  • We do provide perks and benefits for all annual sponsorships.

Yes. Use our easy Sponsor in 3 steps!  tools to obtain a local sponsor. Typically a local sponsor will be a player, team or business that will benefit from the perks and publicity we provide them. Facilities that take either STEP1 or STEP 2 here typically acquire a sponsor right away. See all perks here.

  • This is open to individuals, teams, businesses, and facilities.
  • We provide sponsor perks for all annual sponsorships. 
  • The cost of the annual sponsorship is $600 per 12 months.

Program Sponsor Perks
  • Your name (or custom wording) highlighted on an 11×14 framed plaque (similar to one shown here) – prominently displayed for one year at the facility.
  • A potential $4,000 as an annual tax deduction. Given eligibility (facility may designate recipient), sponsors will receive a tax deduction for the value of the total balls donated at that facility.  We cannot legally recommend a value for donated balls. As an example, should you claim $.40 per tennis ball donated, and assuming a typical 10,000 tennis balls a year – that’s a $4,000 tax deduction benefit. 
  • Recognition as our Tennis Champion!
  • More information here


Questions and answers about the Tax Benefit

The IRS requires the donor (you or the person you designate) to assign values to non-cash charitable donations.

While we cannot legally recommend a value for donated balls. some are claiming .40 per tennis ball donated. If 10,000 balls are donated per year (typical) that is a $4,000 annual benefit. 

This benefit can now be allocated to any designated donor, person, organization or sponsor even if they are not part of your organization.


Questions and answers about our Non-Proffit
  • RecycleBalls is a national player driven initiative to reuse and recycle all tennis balls. 
  • We are the first organization in U.S. tennis history with a large scale collection solution for all played tennis balls in this country.
  • Our patented QUICKSHIP bin/program is the simplest way for individuals and facilities around the nation to recycle tennis balls. Not only does the program provide pre-paid shipping but in addition provides a tax donation for every ball donated.
  • We created RecycleBalls Green Gold in 2017.  This unique crumb rubber product, made from tennis balls, can be easily incorporated into many existing processes.
  • This rubber product was the result of developing a process that removes 99% of the felt from tennis balls in a cost-effective manner.
  • The first products made with RecycleBall’s Green Gold were created in 2018 with new strategic partners.
  • We created RecycleBalls Green Gold in 2017.  This unique crumb rubber product, made from tennis balls, can be easily incorporated into many existing processes.
  • This rubber product was the result of developing a process that removes 99% of the felt from tennis balls in a cost-effective manner.
  • The first products made with RecycleBall’s Green Gold were created in 2018 with new strategic partners.
  • In February 2019, Recycleballs was one of four nonprofits nominated as an environmental finalist in the prestigious 2019 Halo awards.

Tennis players recognize a significant environmental problem and agree that U.S. tennis players need to change their habits and recycle their tennis balls. Typically, tennis players open a new can of tennis balls every time they play because of the quick decline in pressure and the lack of consistency in previously played balls. Nationwide, approximately 125 million used tennis balls wind up in America’s landfills every year. That is 20,000 metric tons of methane-producing rubber waste that takes 400 years to decompose!

Simply put – there is no money in it.

Profitability from recycled tennis ball rubber is almost non-existent given that it must compete with low-cost ubiquitous tire rubber. There has been no formalized tennis ball collection program/solution prior to RecyleBalls that was sustainable and nationally scalable. There is also the prohibitive factor of costly necessary infrastructure and costs of de-felting and the management needed to facilitate these efforts. For these reasons, tennis ball recycling has not been able to successfully materialize, despite the depth of the problem and the considerable passion to see this happen.

This non-profit was initiated by the passion and generosity of a few who volunteered their time, talent, and treasure. We started small and grew quickly by offering compelling easy to use programs. Our funding is derived from a number of sources:

  • Donations to offset existing program costs.
  • Fundraising through our existing partner network.
  • Outreach to Corporate sponsors.
  • Sales of our Green Gold for use in tennis courts and other products.
  • Selling balls as recyclable “NO TRASH” dog balls.
  • Leveraging of volunteer resources.

In 2019 we signed a three-year partnership with Wilson Sporting Goods – our key sponsor and partner who has generously provided us with some funding and institutional guidance. 

Until we can fully monetize our recycled products we still need support from the tennis community and corporate sponsors.  We  have grown more sustainable every year since we started in 2017. With more awareness and  continuing outreach, we are encouraged this will become a highly successful  model for other countries.

Currently, our recycling line, the PLAY IT GREEN machine, represents a net expense. Given increasing green interest and our commitment to finding new partners and potential products, this is changing. The investment we have made in this new, first-of-its-kind, custom-built recycling line, holds the promise that with increased production and further product R&D, the GREEN GOLD produced may fund much of this initiative.

Given such a positive response and substantial network growth in the USA and now Canada, we have continued to receive a stream of requests to bring our patented bin system, programs, processes, and intellectual property to other countries. In 2020, we changed our mission to “Recycle and reuse ALL tennis balls” with a goal to spread this mission globally in a considered, cost-effective fashion. 


  • 2010-2021 period. Since virtually all tennis ball production left the US with the end of the first decade of the 21st century, import data for the 2010-2021 period was understood to be a good approximation to the number of balls disposed of in the US in that period. Import data was taken form the World Integrated Trade Solution’s website. Data for 2014 was anomalously low and was substituted by taking the mean of the value for 203 and 2015. When first quarter data was given the annual number was assumed to be four times the first quarter data. Links to sources is given in the addendum.
  • 1874-2009 period. Data from this period originates in newspaper reports of the number of tennis balls sold or used in the US in particular years (with one exception coming from the Tennis Industry Association). Data for 28 years comprised between 1921 and 2007 was obtained in that way. The figures for the years for which no data was found in newspaper archives were imputated through linear interpolation. The figure belonging to the year immediately previous to the year tennis was introduced to the US and the figures  corresponding to the years of World War 2 were set to 0.

Number of balls

7.04 billion


Number of balls by year:


Cumulative number of balls by year:


Year of introduction of the first ball


This is the year that, as far as records can show us, lawn tennis was first played in the US. Though it is not known who and when exactly did it first, it seems it arrived independently at several places within the East Coast.

Source: Collins, B. (2010). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book (2nd ed.). New Chapter Press.

Addendum 1: source links

In order to read most of the linked newspapers a subscription to Newspapers.com is needed. Nevertheless, the newspaper, date and page where the information is found can be seen by clicking in the link (to see the page you have to close the subscription pop-up).

1921: https://www.newspapers.com/image/181447205/

1931: https://www.newspapers.com/image/127615869/

1935: https://www.newspapers.com/image/793641788/

1949: https://www.newspapers.com/image/828770842/

1952: https://www.newspapers.com/image/793641788/ 

1958: https://www.newspapers.com/image/828770842/

1961: www.newspapers.com/image/807392483/

1962: https://www.newspapers.com/image/383024778/

1967: https://www.newspapers.com/image/317118233/

1968: https://www.newspapers.com/image/451245565/

1973: https://www.newspapers.com/image/775865425/

1975: www.newspapers.com/image/165841245/

1976: https://www.nytimes.com/1981/12/05/business/dispute-in-tennis-ball-sales.html

1977: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/191996653/

1978: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/89769002/

1979: https://www.nytimes.com/1981/12/05/business/dispute-in-tennis-ball-sales.html

1989: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/192265155/ 

1990: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/192265155/ 

1991: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/192265155/

1992: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/192265155/

1995: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/326276030/

1996: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/326276030/

1997: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-oct-21-fi-34609-story.html

1998: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/91090178/

1999: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/216753164/ 

2000: https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/216753164/

2002: http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/articles/2007/07/selling_tennis_balls.html 

2007: http://www.tennisindustrymag.com/articles/2007/07/selling_tennis_balls.html

2010-2021 (imports): https://wits.worldbank.org/trade/comtrade/en/country/ALL/year/2018/tradeflow/Exports/partner/WLD/product/950661#  (Year can be changed by clicking in ‘change selection’)

Quickship Tips and Instructions

Managing this is easy!

1) Please open all of our emails.

  • Opening these triggers our automated system to ensure timely responses, shipments, awards, tax deductions, and more.
  • Typically bins are shipped within 60 days of the setup or the last bin shipment.

4) Always replace full bins with fresh ones immediately.

  • We ship new bins when down to 5. Bring bins to the front desk or anywhere UPS delivers as soon as they are full.
  • Every bin comes with a prepaid UPS label and will be picked up at no cost by UPS when they visit if you point to the bins.

2) Assemble every bin right away to save time.

  • Start by assembling the BOTTOM and then the TOP.  Each bin takes about a minute to assemble.

5) Promote this program with the included posters.

  • Make recycling visible by displaying the included signage.. 
  • Help us publicize this. Snap a picture of your bin(s) and post to social media – tag #recycleballs

3) Place bins directly on every indoor tennis court.

  • Courtside bins fill up 5-10 times faster than if placed elsewhere. For outdoor courts, place bins in a sheltered area near courts. 
  • Outdoor bins and bin enclosures are available to order at recycleballs.org

5) Champion This!

  • The single largest success factor of this program is a dedicated CHAMPION who is managing this – about 10 mins a week.