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How to Safely Dispose of Old Bowling Balls

how to safely dispose of old bowling balls

When you get a new bowling ball, you will probably wonder what you should do with your old one. They are heavy, so you can’t exactly throw them in the trash. You need to get rid of the bowling ball safely to prevent any potential injuries from those who might come in contact with the ball. It is extremely common for people to not know how to dispose of their old bowling balls.

There are a few different things you can do to properly and safely dispose of a bowling ball. You can donate them or try to sell them to a pro shop. They don’t always buy used bowling balls, but it is worth a shot to ask.

Bowling balls are complicated to dispose of because of their materials. The balls are designed to last a long time, so it is hard to figure out what to do with it when you are finished. Luckily, there is a variety of options available for getting rid of your used, old bowling balls.

How Do You Dispose of Bowling Balls?

You might be tempted to throw your old bowling ball in the regular trash to get rid of it, but this is highly advised against. Since bowling balls are heavy and dense, it can cause injuries to someone who doesn’t know it’s there. For example, it could fall on someone’s foot and cause severe damage. It is best to avoid this option.

There is no denying that there is very little information and direction on what to do with old bowling balls when you are finished with them.

It is said that there are more than 100,000 bowling balls just put into landfills and left there. This is not ideal because bowling balls aren’t exactly good for the environment.

If you have an old, usable bowling ball that you are trying to get rid of, your best bet is going to be donating it or taking it to a pro shop to see if they will buy it.

In some cases, if they don’t buy it, they will offer to dispose of it for you. This is the safest option as they know exactly how to dispose of bowling balls safely. 

If you are dealing with a cracked bowling ball, your options are more limited. Before disposing if your bowling ball, you should see if it can be fixed. You can take it to a pro shop, and they will be able to tell you if it is fixable or if you should buy a new ball. If it isn’t fixable, the shop will probably offer to dispose of it for you.

What Can You Do with Old Bowling Balls?

When you are left with an old bowling ball that you don’t want to dispose of, there are so many different things you can do with it. It will depend on what your end goal is, but you can try to recycle or donate the bowling ball to others in need.

Call Your Local Recycling Center

The first thing you can try to do is recycle your old bowling ball. While they aren’t always able to be recycled, there are some recycling centers that will take them. You can figure this out by calling your local center and asking if they accept bowling balls to recycle. If not, there are other ways you can recycle your bowling ball.

Local Artists

You might have some luck finding an artist that is looking for bowling balls for an art project. Artists are great at repurposing things and making them look great again.

See if you can find any local artists in your area that would be willing to take the bowling ball off your hands for you.

Donate to a Zoo

If you live near a zoo, they might also take bowling balls as enrichment for larger animals. They will not take bowling balls that are cracked, so make sure the ball is in perfect condition before offering it to the zoo. Cracked bowling balls can cause the animals harm, which we definitely don’t want.

Backyard Game

You can also try to recycle the bowling ball in your own home. For example, you can try to create an outdoor game with it in your backyard. You can search the internet for ideas of games to play, but one popular one is to see who can throw the bowling ball the furthest distance.

Donate to a Bowling Alley

Donating your old bowling ball is another way to get it off your hands. Bowling alleys will often have bowling leagues for kids or those with disabilities, and you can always ask to donate your bowling ball to one of these causes.

You can also donate your bowling ball to a program designed to help lower-income families afford sports for their kids. 

Donate to a School

If there is a school in your area that has a bowling team, you can also offer your bowling ball to them. Not all kids are built for sports like football, baseball, and basketball. It is great for kids to have access to equipment, such as a bowling ball, so they know that their options aren’t limited.

Local Veterans Office

Another great option is to check out your local Veteran Affair’s office. There might be a few veterans that are trying to put together a league and your bowling ball donation can make it easier for them to get started. 

Are Old Bowling Balls Worth Anything?

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If you are hoping to earn a few bucks from your old ball, you might be able to. When sold properly, old bowling balls can be valuable. There are several options for selling your old bowling ball starting with eBay and ending with a pro bowling shop.

Not all bowling balls will be worth reselling, but it is always worth a shot to see if yours is. If it is not a good candidate to be sold, you should consider donating it as discussed above. Your donation can make a world of difference for someone, even if you might not think so.

Try to Sell Your Bowling Ball Locally or Online

If you decide to sell your bowling ball online, you might have a harder time than selling locally. Shipping alone could cost most of what you make from the sale. eBay is a great place to sell an old bowling ball.

Some sell for a very nice number, while others aren’t as lucky. The best thing about selling online is you can change your mind if you don’t get an offer that you were hoping for.

You can also try selling your bowling ball locally online. This is doable with Facebook groups that are for bowlers. You will always need to read the rules of the group before posting anything for sale to make sure you don’t violate any of them. This will be easier than eBay because you won’t have to pay for shipping.

Try Selling to a Pro Shop

You might also be able to get a few bucks for your old ball from a pro bowling shop. They are pickier about the kind of balls they purchase, so it is best to make sure the ball is in great condition. If they don’t buy it and you want to just get rid of it, they might even offer to dispose of it for you.

Depending on the quality of your ball and the market for bowling balls, you can get anywhere from $10 to about $70. If your ball is in pristine condition, you can always start with the price high and lower it as necessary.

If you have a vintage bowling ball, you might be able to get even more money. There are collectors that would love to purchase your vintage bowling ball and other vintage bowling equipment from you.

Unique bowling balls will also go for a higher amount. You can always start an auction if you have items like these to see what kind of money you could get for them.

Did you know that Storm bowling balls have tons of different fragrances available for their bowling balls? This Storm bowling ball is widely popular due to its Grapevine fragrance!

Do Bowling Balls Go Bad?

As an honest answer, no one really knows if bowling balls go bad and what their life expectancy is. However, with proper maintenance of the ball, there is a potential that they can last for a minimum of five to ten years with the same reliability and effectiveness. The better care you take of your bowling ball, the longer life it will have. 

One important thing to keep your bowling balls in the best condition possible is storing them away from extreme temperatures. You shouldn’t keep your bowling ball in your garage, shed, or attic as these can experience frequent temperature changes. Temperatures that are too hot or too cold can damage your bowling ball.

It is important to protect the surface of your bowling ball the best you can. The surface, also known as the coverstock, is available in several different textures that offer a varying range of friction. This is what allows you to control the motion of your ball down the lane. You should regularly resurface your ball to ensure the life is extended and that your game stays the same.

Bowling Ball Maintenance

Another great way to extend the life of your bowling ball is with regular maintenance. There are some things you can do yourself like polishing and cleaning your ball after you use it, but the important maintenance will be done by a pro bowling shop. 

You might only visit your pro shop when you notice that your bowling ball isn’t looking its best. However, the best thing you can do is regularly take your ball to the pro shop. This will keep your ball in perfect condition at all times and prevent it from getting to the point of looking dull and damaged.

It is highly recommended to follow a maintenance schedule to keep your bowling ball from becoming damaged or going “bad”. If you have a bowling ball that is shiny, you will want to re-polish it after about ten games have been played. If you have a dull bowling ball, scuff it with an Abralon pad after the same number of games.

After thirty games have been played with your shiny bowling ball, you will want to scuff the surface down and re-polish it. This will help with any imperfections that the ball may have gotten on the lane. 

Consider Resurfacing Your Bowling Ball

When you have played sixty games with your ball, you will want to have it fully resurfaced and have new finger inserts placed. Repeat these three processes at the proper intervals for as long as you have the ball.

To reduce the amount of oil that your bowling ball absorbs, make sure you clean the surface with a bowling ball cleaner after every game you play. It is also highly recommended to store it in a bag designed for bowling balls. They will be padded and have material on the inside that will not transfer any oils to the surface of the ball.

If you follow a consistent maintenance schedule, there is no reason that your ball won’t last you for more than ten years. This is perfect if you always have great games with that ball and don’t want to replace it.  

Final Thoughts

There is very little information available on how to properly and safely dispose of a bowling ball, so in most cases, it is not done properly. Many people just throw their bowling balls in the regular trash and call it a day. This is strongly advised against as it can cause injury to an unsuspecting person.

The best thing you can do to get rid of your bowling ball is to donate it or try to sell it. You can donate the ball to a bowling alley, a school with a bowling team, even your local Veteran Affair’s office. This will help others get access to bowling equipment that they might not have otherwise.

You should take care of your bowling ball to extend its life. The typical life span of a bowling ball is between five and ten years, but with a proper maintenance schedule, it can last you much longer than that. 

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