Every ball counts, and every good ball deserves a 2nd-Bounce.
For decades the question “why can’t tennis balls be recycled” kept springing up in a young tennis pro’s mind.
As he matured in the sport and honed his skills he became more and more involved in the day to day operation of the courts where he worked and trained. He saw daily the hundreds, no thousands of balls in the practice carts and found that these balls got replaced every few weeks with new balls. To him, an unsettling dichotomy emerged - how great it was that he could drill for long sessions with a cart of 300 balls before having to ever go pick one up off the court, YET how sad it was that so many balls were produced and discarded just to afford him that convenience. "My goodness, how many balls does my club go through?" he eventually asked club staff, discovering it was a staggering number.
But clubs were just the tip of the iceberg. Millions of individual tennis players around the country were buying and using hundreds of balls themselves, and where were they all going? — thats right, the landfill.
As the young pro moved beyond the Tour into the business of teaching tennis and directing clubs, this underlying concern never left him. It only grew stronger. He experimented with testing balls by squeezing them, and even had an engineering student design a squeezer to try to separate the good ones from the bad ones, but nothing seemed to work. "There has to be a way to stop this madness!" he would scream, to himself.
Then one day, in walked a good ole' boy from the plains of Nebraska. Something diff’rent though ‘bout this short wiley sheriff, it was the engineering badge he wore. He walked up to the young pro and said matter of factly, “what you need boy, is a way to hang 'em high and sort ‘em fast, and if I might be so obliged, I might have just the thang for ya”.
Sorting huh? Well, that is the big fly in the ointment, the elephant in the room, the monkey in the wrench as they say. The number one reason most waste in your recycling bin never gets recycled is because it costs too much to sort. Recycling companies will toss the whole batch into the landfill if it contains "organic contaminants". There's just no way they can hand-sort it all out. Same thing with tennis balls (except there are no chicken bones). It is nearly impossible to sort a batch of tennis balls into ones that are play-worthy from those that are dead, until now. That old sheriff cracked the nut on this problem, came walkin’ in with the silver bullet, and showed that young whippersnapper how to sort tennis balls the right way, and accurately, no sweat. “Just gotta bounce ‘em", he said, “but all automated-like, so you don’t need a ranch hand sittin’ there all day doin’ it, costin’ ya money”.
Now aside from the way the engineer talked (which was actually me by the way, and no I'm not really a sheriff), this is a true story.
That young tennis pro is my friend Ryan Fleming who had the vision and relentless desire to improve the sport he loves, and help the environment. A little ingenuity and design, along with a lot of ideas and advice from visionary people, we have enabled a whole new standard for recycling tennis balls. We invite you to participate in this important initiative, in any way you feel you can make a difference.
Why you should buy from us...
The Eco-friendly Creed: REDUCE - REUSE - RECYCLE
In the case of Tennis Balls the ideal is "Reduce BY Reuse",
THEN Recycle.No one in the Tennis Industry wants the sport to decline. Those passionate and devoted to the game of course want it to grow and grow. Producing fewer tennis balls doesn't really jive with that; the more people playing the game, the more balls are surely needed.But the goal is not to reduce the game or the amount of balls made, the real goal for the environment's sake is to keep all these balls from piling up in landfills, instead we first "reduce by reuse", in other words we get the full use out of every ball AND THEN recycle them into some other usable form. A form that will either serve a useful function indefinitely, or return the material back to the earth in a beneficial way. Click here for more info on our tennis ball recycling initiatives.
What is the best way to reuse a tennis ball? Of course in Tennis!
Many balls that have been used in indoor clubs for lessons still have a bunch of usable life in them. It would be awesome if the best of these gently used balls could see a few more weeks or months of use. It would certainly slow the flow of balls into the landfills. So how can this be done better? That is where our 2nd-Bounces department comes in. The first phase of our process is to get the playable balls back out there on courts where they belong, where they can live out their useful purpose.
You help by purchasing used balls which makes the whole process sustainable.
Why are we better?
We are different, very different. You can search the web and find lots of used tennis balls for sale. Some claim to be "Quality" tennis balls, but the word quality can be quite subjective. What is important is how you intend to USE them. If you want dog toys or chair leg covers, just about any tennis ball will be “good quality”. The bounce is totally irrelevant to a dog or chair, and barely noticeable on the bottom of my walker.
However, if you want to play tennis with a tennis ball (in games, drills, lessons, practice), then you want to know they are good brands (from top indoor clubs), that they bounce well, and they still look and feel pretty new. Am I right?
So if you are even slightly serious about playing tennis, don’t bother buying boxes of random used tennis balls that have not been inspected and verified to bounce well. You might get a few good ones, but most will only be fit for Fido, or gracing the end of a peg leg. Plus, YOU have to discover the duds while you're trying to drill.
Value proposition.If you buy 100 used tennis balls for $40-60 (including shipping), which is the going price online, and you can only play tennis with 35% of them (see our Market Test), you have just paid $1.15-$1.70 per playable ball and will be throwing out the rest (or giving 60+ balls to Fido?). So you might as well have bought brand new US-opens at the pro shop, ‘cause you ain’t saved any money.
Buying from us, you can be certain that EVERY ball you receive is play worthy (in the game of Tennis, not by Bowser). Consistent quality enables you to compare how much money you are actually saving over buying new balls.
And once you have played with ours for a while, then you can give them to your dog, donate them to your local school, retirement home, or dog shelter. See more suggestions back on our tennis ball recycling page.
We give these high quality indoor lesson balls a 2nd chance to have their remaining useful life played out of them before they go to the island of misfit toys (really, the landfill).
Buying from 1st-Service is eco-friendly and saves you money and time.
We do the tedious-mind-numbing work of picking out the best used balls for you, making sure they have enough bounce in them for use on the court. This delays the flow of balls going into landfills, and reduces the number of plastic canisters wasted.
Don’t buy other’s random dud balls just to get a few good ones. Buy all the good ones you need from us – verified rebound graded balls -- and hit the courts with confidence and a good feeling that you are a friend to the environment.