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This Year's Balls, Next Year's Courts

Tennis balls are a common item that gets used for only a short period of time and then can end up polluting the earth for hundreds of years. It is estimated that 125 million used tennis balls are discarded in landfills every year, resulting in over 20,000 tons of plastic waste. Did you know if stacked on each other, the number of tennis balls that are trashed every hour in the US would be higher than twice the height of the Empire State Building? Given the increasing urgency of the climate crisis, it's more crucial than ever to take action to reduce our impact on the environment; the tennis community has been taking notice and making changes.

Sea Colony Tennis has partnered with to help tackle this problem.

"I read about the Recycle Balls tennis program about four years ago and talked to a friend whose tennis facility was in the program," said Al Fallavollita, a homeowner and Tennis Committee member. "I presented the program to Thomas Johnston, Director of Tennis at the time, and to the tennis committee and received approval to sign up. Initially Sea Colony signed on as a volunteer program, joining on April 19, 2019."

In 2021, Sea Colony became an official sponsor of the program, joining the more than 5,000 network partners. Since joining, Sea Colony Tennis has recycled over 25,000 tennis balls, the equivalent of 8,333 cans or 347 cases of balls! Combined with all network partners, over 10 million tennis balls have been recycled. But what happens to these tennis balls after they're recycled? First, they're ground up, separating all materials. The rubber is re-ground to make a 97% pure natural rubber "crumb," which can be used in a variety of applications, from tennis courts to equestrian turf, playgrounds, and even traffic safety equipment.

"Sea Colony is actively involved with recycling used tennis balls. In addition to the thousands we recycle each year through the Recycle Balls organization, we donate hundreds of used balls to local schools, nursing homes, and police canine units," Says Al. "Sea Colony has placed green recycling boxes around the tennis facility where players are encouraged to deposit their used tennis balls. These balls are then shipped directly to the Vermont-based organization for recycling."

Join Sea Colony and the tennis community in reducing your environmental impact. Visit to learn more about this program and how you can get involved in making tennis a greener sport. Remember, reducing, reusing, and recycling are essential steps we can all take to help protect the planet.


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