What to Do With Old Bowling Balls? (8 Creative and Safe Ways)

Do you have an old bowling ball gathering dust in your garage or closet?

You might be wondering how to dispose of it responsibly without causing harm to the environment, as not all plastics can be recycled.

Fortunately, there are creative and safe alternatives that go beyond simply tossing it in the trash. In this blog post, we’ll explore a variety of eco-friendly and inventive ways to give new life to your old bowling ball. Let’s take a look.

8 Creative Ways To Utilize Your Old Bowling Balls

Donate It To A Local Bowling Alley Or Youth Team

Donating old bowling balls to a local alley or youth team is an excellent way to dispose of them. Alleys may refurbish and resell donated bowling balls, while youth programs can use the equipment for physical activity and socialization.

For instance, some communities run after-school programs that allow kids to play games like basketball or bowl at local alleys.

In many cases, donating your old bowling balls can make a big difference in someone else’s life. The cost of purchasing new equipment, especially for people learning how to bowl or participating in youth sports programs, can be prohibitive.

By donating your used equipment instead of throwing it away, you’re making it possible for others to enjoy these activities without the added expense.

Sell Or Give It Away To Fellow Bowlers

If you’re looking to dispose of your old bowling ball, why not sell it or give it away to fellow bowlers? This is a great way to keep the ball in use and potentially save someone some money.

You may have friends or acquaintances who bowl regularly but don’t want to spend a lot on new equipment, making your old ball a perfect solution for them. Alternatively, you could try selling the ball online through sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace.

Use It As A Lawn Decoration Or Planter

One creative way to repurpose old bowling balls is by using them as lawn decorations or planters. With a little bit of crafty inspiration, you can transform your old bowling ball into a unique and eye-catching addition to your garden.

To turn it into a planter, start by drilling some drainage holes at the bottom of the ball. Then, you can paint or adorn it with stones, mosaic tiles, or any other material that fits your style and personality.

You could also place the bowling balls in strategic spots throughout your yard for added visual appeal.

Donate It To An Artist As A Creative Material

Another way to dispose of old bowling balls is by donating them to artists as creative material. Artists are often on the lookout for unique and interesting items to incorporate into their artwork, and old bowling balls can serve as a great addition.

Bowling balls can be painted, carved, or even used as part of a sculpture.

For example, artist Joe O’Connell used over 700 donated bowling balls to create an interactive art installation called “Rolling History” in San Antonio, Texas.

By donating your old bowling ball to an artist, you not only help reduce waste but also support the local arts community.

Repurpose As Household Items Or Art

Another creative and eco-friendly way to dispose of old bowling balls is by repurposing them as household items or art. With a little imagination, an old bowling ball can be transformed into unique decor for your home or garden.

For example, you could turn it into a doorstop, bookend, paperweight, or even a lamp base.

Repurposing old sporting equipment like bowling balls not only diverts waste from landfills but also adds an element of nostalgia and uniqueness to your home decor.

Use As Outdoor Decorations Or Garden Features

Another creative way to repurpose old bowling balls is by using them as outdoor decorations or garden features. These strong and durable spheres can add a unique touch of character to any outdoor space.

You can place them amongst your plants, line them up along walkways, or display them in a decorative arrangement.

Using old bowling balls as garden features not only adds visual interest but also helps prevent waste from ending up in landfills. This eco-friendly solution has become increasingly popular among those who prioritize ethical waste reduction strategies.

Recycle Through Specialized Programs

I highly recommend researching specialized programs for recycling old bowling balls. Some facilities and programs specialize in repurposing sports equipment, including bowling balls.

For example, the Bowling Proprietors’ Association of America has established a program that helps facilitate the recycling and re-use of retired bowling balls through various partnerships across North America.

Other local recycling centers or waste management companies may also accept old bowling balls as part of their drop-off programs.

Use For DIY Projects

If you’re feeling a little more on the crafty side, repurposing an old bowling ball for DIY projects can be a fun and creative option.

With a little imagination, the possibilities are endless: turn it into a unique garden gazing ball with paint and embellishments, or even break it apart to create mosaic stepping stones for your backyard.

You could also use it as a base for building an outdoor sculpture or water feature. Get inspired by browsing online tutorials or brainstorming ideas of your own.

The Importance Of Properly Disposing Of Old Bowling Balls

what to do with old bowling balls

Proper disposal of old bowling balls is important not only for environmental reasons but also to ensure safety and prevent potential injury.

Environmental Impact

The environmental impact of improperly disposing of old bowling balls cannot be overlooked. Modern bowling balls are primarily made of plastic, and many plastics do not break down easily in landfills.

Consequently, this contributes to long-term pollution and threatens the health of our ecosystems.

Fortunately, there are eco-friendly approaches to dispose of these unwanted items without causing damage to the environment. For instance, donating your old bowling ball to youth programs or recycling them through specialized programs can go a long way in reducing their ecological footprint.

Safety Concerns

It’s essential to dispose of old bowling balls safely to avoid potential injury. Over time, bowling balls can develop cracks or other damage that could impact their structural integrity, making them unsafe for use.

Additionally, some modern bowling balls are made with materials that cannot be recycled properly.

To ensure safety when disposing of old or damaged bowling balls, it’s crucial to take care during handling and preparation. Be sure to wear protective gloves and eyewear when removing finger inserts or thumb slugs from the ball and consider cutting the ball in half if necessary to prevent any potential reuse.


In conclusion, properly disposing of old bowling balls is not only a matter of safety but also environmental responsibility. From donating to local programs to repurposing them as household items or art, there are many creative and safe ways to dispose of an old bowling ball.

Remember to consider the weight, material, and any damage when preparing it for disposal or recycling. By taking these measures into consideration, we can ensure ethical waste reduction strategies and contribute towards sustainable waste management practices.

Last updated on May 13, 2023