While sporting goods may not be the most practical or obvious types of items for recycling, the sheer prevalence of the gear makes them major threats for landfills. Many materials used in sports equipment, such as bicycle inner tubes, are not recyclable, however, creativity can go a long way in converting your garbage gear into awesome accessories. Here are a few examples:

1. Baseball bats recycled into chopsticks. When bats break in the Japanese professional baseball leagues, some of the lumber is fashioned into “Kattobashi” chopsticks, which are sure to make that next meal of sushi a home run.
2. Climbing rope reused as dog leashes. Old or damaged climbing rope can be a serious safety concern, so when the rope deteriorates even slightly, convert it into tying string, or better yet, a leash for Fido.
3. Skiing gear recycled into furniture. Several different companies, including Skichair and Reeski, sell chairs and other types of furniture designed from old skis and snowboards, and they’re far from abominable.
4. Race bibs reused as coasters. Since race bibs are made of Tyvek, they are incredibly durable, and almost impossible to recycle. Instead, reuse them as coasters for your legion of Powerade bottles.
5. Tennis balls recycled as Equestrian arena turf. An initiative called Project Green Ball has floored naysayers and hit upon a way to crush up tennis balls, turning them into turf for Equestrian arenas and riding events.

Anyone unwilling to embark on these ingenious uses for their old sports equipment can simply donate or sell them. Sportsgift.orgfosters community sporting good donations and soles4souls.org collects old tennis and running shoes. For anyone looking to make a buck, local stores like Play It Again Sports will buy back old gear. But these are just a handful of the great organizations available to anyone looking for alternatives to throwing away their used equipment. See the links below for even more ideas.


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