Repurposing Tennis Balls

Cal Zero Waste received over 1000 tennis balls (152.4 lbs of tennis balls) from Cal Men’s Tennis Team and donated them to several elementary schools in the Berkeley area to use for physical education. During the summer, Men’s Tennis runs several weeks of summer camps, so at the end of the summer season, all the gently used tennis balls are left in storage. The problem with used tennis balls is after every tennis match, they become worn down and lose their bounce from loss in air pressure over time. As a result, a majority of tennis balls eventually end up in the landfill. To curb the amount of landfill waste stemming from tennis balls, Cal Zero Waste looked into the different ways tennis balls could be reused instead of being tossed away in landfill, including and not limited to chair feet covers, dog toys, or even craft projects. In light of the zero waste goal by 2020, Cal Zero Waste hopes to encourage the 4 R’s amongst the campus community in order to make the campus more sustainable: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Rot (Compost).

In 2019 Cal Zero Waste received another donation from the Cal Men’s Tennis Team, this time of over 500 tennis balls.  Of these, 150 were donated to Emmerson Elementary School’s Physical Education program and the rest were donated to Canine Companions for Independence for use in training their service dogs.