How Do You Recycle Old Sports Equipment?

How Do You Recycle Old Sports Equipment

Do you have old sports equipment gathering dust in your storage areas? Instead of throwing it away, you can recycle it, repurpose it, or donate it to people who still do have a use for it. Read on to learn a few ways to recycle old sports equipment.

Donating Old Sports Equipment

Perhaps one of the best ways to reuse old sports equipment is to donate it. Various institutions accept donations and will have a use for them. The accessibility of sports in the United States is highly unequal across the country, as sports equipment can become very pricey, especially when you’re trying to fund an entire team of athletes. Schools will often have to allocate thousands or millions of dollars in annual funding in order to cover the costs of running sports programs.

If more schools have access to usable sports equipment via donations, it could alleviate some of the high costs of running sports programs and allow more athletes the opportunity to play sports. It can also widen the range of sports a school can offer if equipment for more niche sports is donated.

Besides schools, there are many programs that take donated sports equipment and distribute it to local teams, sports centers, and even to children in underdeveloped countries. Donating old sports equipment to these organizations, such as Game Changers New York and Leveling the Playing Field, can aid in making sports more accessible and available across the country and other parts of the world.

Repurposing Materials

In most cases, sports equipment is made from mixed materials, making them somewhat difficult to recycle. It is discouraged to put them in recycling, as they can potentially damage both other items in recycling or the workers at recycling centers. Instead, donating or selling usable equipment for a fair price is recommended. In most cases, if you cannot donate or sell the old equipment, you’ll have no choice but to throw it out.

However, there are a few exceptions of sports equipment that can much more easily be recycled. Equipment that is mostly made of metal, like barbells or weights, can be taken to be turned into scrap metal, allowing the material to be used again. Additionally, basketballs are often repurposed into other rubber products. Since basketballs are entirely rubber, they can be deflated and recycled to be turned into other products, such as the nylon fabric at the bladder being used for nylon fabric or yarn.