I was at the US Open on Tuesday night and I realized they must go through thousands of tennis balls. Do they recycle them?
We couldn't find any information specific to the US Open, but it appears that balls used at Wimbledon are repurposed (rather than recycled) by an organization called Global Sports Alliance. The balls are distributed to schools in Japan, where they are used for sports and art projects, as well as to quiet table and chair legs in schools for the deaf.
Others, though, are making tennis balls into serious furniture, like the picture above of museum benches (blogged over at inhabit) by Tejo Remy and Rene VeenHuizen. No word on whether the balls are recycled, but they certainly could be.
We found another solution over at Etsy that might be easier to fit into most homes... pics after the jump.
The tennis ball chair shown left designed and made by Wholman can be yours for $400 plus $150 shipping. We think that's quite reasonable for a handcrafted, highly original, and likely comfortable chair.
Other ideas from around the web:
• The US EPA (!) has a web page on reusing tennis balls. Not too much new information here (i.e., dogs like tennis balls) but the last comment, on an industrial use for masses of used tennis balls, is worth a read -- if only for the Roald Dahl-esque visual it invokes.
• Several fun, home-related ideas are listed on the Ball Dilemma. We'd love to see a more modern take on the tennis ball wreath. Readers?
• And in case you just have one or two flat tennis balls, here are a few ideas from Reader's Digest on how to put them to good use around your home.