Can You Put Bowling Balls in Recycling? – Mystery Unfolded!

Do you ever wonder if you can put bowling balls in recycling bins? 

The clear, loud and short answer is NO, YOU SHOULD NOT!


Because, the bowling ball recycling process isn’t as easy as it may sound!

Today we will explore the challenges and limitations of recycling bowling balls and provide you with the best options available.

Discover what pro bowlers have to say about bowling balls recycling, and learn about alternative uses for your unwanted bowling balls.

Get ready to free up some space and find a sustainable solution for those heavy round objects.

Key Learnings

– Recycling bowling balls is challenging and costly due to their unique composition and materials, such as polyester, urethane, and resin.

– There is a limited availability of bowling ball recycling programs, making it difficult to find proper disposal options.

– At some places limited specialized recycling facilities that handle bowling balls exist, but regular recycling facilities are not equipped for this purpose.

– Instead of recycling, alternative uses for old or unwanted bowling balls can include transforming them into home décor pieces, garden ornaments, functional items like bookends, or even DIY projects like garden gazing balls or sculptures.

Challenges and Limitations in Bowling Ball Recycling

  • The main challenge in bowling ball recycling is its material and composition.
  • The top limitation is a very few recycling programs that accept bowling balls.
Can You Put Bowling Balls in Recycling?

I have described both points in detail below.

Challenges in Recycling Bowling Balls Due to Its Composition & Material

Bowling balls are typically made of a combination of different materials, such as polyester, urethane, and reactive resin. 

These materials pose recycling limitations because they can’t be easily separated and recycled individually.

The unique blend of materials used to make bowling balls, such as polyester, urethane, and resin, can make it difficult to break them down and recycle them effectively. 

It makes the bowling balls recycling process so costly. 

Additionally, the limited availability of bowling ball recycling programs can further hinder the recycling process.

Limited Availability of Bowling Ball Recycling Programs

Unlike other objects, only a few recycling centers accept bowling balls.

“1,200 balls end up at New York City’s main recycling plant each year”

(Source: Boing)

While there may be a desire to recycle bowling balls, till now, finding practical and sustainable solutions to recycle them remains a challenge that requires further exploration and innovation.

So, what can you do in this situation?

Some local recycling facilities across the USA accept bowling balls as well. 

For now, you can consider searching for specialized recycling programs or facilities in your area that accept bowling balls.

Related Article: Do you have a cracked bowling ball? You can fix it too!

What are Pro Bowlers Saying About Bowling Ball Recycling Options?

On multiple bowling forums, pro bowlers are discussing this issue. Here I have summarized some important and lesser known takeaways for you:

  • To recycle a bowling ball, you can contact a local bowling alley or recycling center to see if they accept bowling balls for recycling.
  • Some bowling alleys and recycling centers may have specific requirements for bowling balls that are being recycled, such as requiring them to be clean and free of any stickers or labels.

So far you have seen that bowling balls recycling isn’t an easy process but there are several alternative uses for old bowling balls.

Alternative Uses for Old or Unwanted Bowling Balls

Fortunately, there are plenty of options to consider!

You can reuse them as unique home decor pieces, transform them into functional items like garden gnomes or bookends, or get creative with various DIY projects.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to finding alternative uses for your bowling balls.

Home Decor1. Garden ornament with vibrant colors and patterns.
2. Decorative centerpiece with a wooden or metal base.
3. Mosaic masterpiece using ceramic tiles or glass pieces.
Functional Items1. Garden sculptures for ornaments or bird baths.
2. Bookends created by cutting a bowling ball in half.
3. Outdoor furniture like tables or benches.
Creative Projects1. Bowling ball mosaic for tabletop or wall art.
2. Repurposing into a musical instrument (e.g., drum or gong).
3. Jewelry stand with drilled holes for necklaces and bracelets.
4. Stylish lamp by inserting a lamp kit into the bowling ball.
5. Unique mailbox when painted or decorated.

Home decor

Transform your old or unwanted bowling balls into unique home decor items. Don’t let those dusty balls go to waste when you can repurpose them into something truly special. 

Here are some bowling balls upcycling ideas to inspire your DIY home decor projects:

  • Create a one-of-a-kind garden ornament by painting the bowling ball with vibrant colors and patterns. Place it in your garden or yard for a unique design element that will catch everyone’s attention.
  • Turn your bowling ball into a decorative centerpiece by adding a wooden or metal base. Use it as a table decoration or place it on a shelf for a touch of whimsy in your home.
  • Make a sustainable craft by transforming your bowling ball into a mosaic masterpiece. Break ceramic tiles or glass into small pieces and glue them onto the surface of the ball to create a stunning work of art.

Functional Items

There are plenty of creative ways to repurpose them into functional items through exciting DIY projects.

Here are some repurposing ideas that not only give your old bowling balls a new lease on life but also have a positive environmental impact:

  • Garden Sculptures: Paint and decorate your bowling balls to create unique garden ornaments. They can be used as whimsical garden sculptures, or even as the base for bird baths.
  • Bookends: Cut the bowling ball in half and use each half as a bookend. Add a decorative touch by painting or covering them in fabric.
  • Outdoor Furniture: Stack bowling balls together to create sturdy and eye-catching outdoor furniture, such as a table or a bench.

Creative Projects

Now let’s explore how you can get creative with your old or unwanted bowling balls by repurposing them into alternative projects. Here are some upcycling ideas and DIY projects to transform your bowling balls into artistic creations:

  • Bowling Ball Mosaic: Break your bowling ball into smaller pieces and use them to create a stunning mosaic on a tabletop or wall.
  • Musical instrument: With a little creativity, you can turn your bowling ball into a musical instrument such as a drum or gong.
  • Jewelry stand: Drill holes in your bowling ball and use it to display necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry.
  • Lamp: Cut a hole in the top of your bowling ball and insert a lamp kit to create a unique and stylish lamp.
  • Mailbox: Paint or decorate your bowling ball and use it as a unique and eye-catching mailbox.

These repurposing options also contribute to sustainable crafts by reducing waste.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Regulations or Guidelines for Recycling Bowling Balls? 

There are currently no specific regulations or guidelines for recycling bowling balls. However, some recycling centers may accept them as part of their general plastic recycling programs. It is recommended to contact local recycling centers or waste management facilities to inquire about their policies on recycling bowling balls.

Can Bowling Balls Be Donated to Charity Instead of Being Recycled?

You can explore donation options for bowling balls instead of recycling them. Many charitable organizations accept them for repurposing ideas, community outreach, or fundraising opportunities. It’s a great way to give back and help others.

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Bowling Ball Before It Needs to Be Recycled? 

The average lifespan of a bowling ball before it needs to be recycled is approximately 6-10 years. However, this can vary depending on factors such as frequency of use, maintenance, and the type of ball.

Closing Thoughts: Can You Put Bowling Balls in Recycling?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Recycling bowling balls isn’t as easy as it may sound.

It is a challenge due to the materials they’re made of, such as resin and urethane. Its composition makes the recycling process so costly.

However, there are alternative options for disposing of old or unwanted bowling balls, such as donating them to bowling alleys or using them for creative purposes like garden decorations.

Overall, while recycling may not be an option, there are still ways to give old bowling balls a new life.

Resources Used for Research:

Trash to Treasure: Using Recyclables in Physical Activity Settings

Leave a Comment

Do you have any specific query?

Ask us any questions

Get in touch