Curbed has a fantastic feature on the problem of old bowling balls. They’re discarded on a daily basis—one NYC recycler receives 3-4 each day—and being made of thermoset plastic, they can’t easily be melted and are thus considered unrecyclable. Breaking them up for use in asphalt is possible, but too expensive. And I didn’t know this, but bowling professionals use “reactive” balls designed to absorb oil from the lane surface to improve their performance. These balls become saturated with oil and go “bad” quickly—pros can go through up to 200 balls a year!
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
Some people use them for yard art…
…but that’s got its limits.
Is there any practical use you can think of for them? I might be able to use them for landscaping—if they weren’t spherical and predisposed to roll away from the mulch beds I’d like to encircle with them. I’d also love to see what happens when I unexpectedly run over a bowling ball with the mower.
Or maybe we could paint them cartographically, turning them into globes to donate to schools. Ah, that might be a hard sell: “Free globes. They each weigh between 6 and 16 pounds, have three holes in them, and are too small for children to read.”
Maybe there’s a way to bond handles to them, to turn them into kettlebells?
Speaking of workout aids, Johnny Di Santis, a fitness coach who runs True Rival Fitness, has his own bowling ball application:
I actually think that might be the best bet. Fitness crazes are a great way to convince people that they need these dedicated objects.
Got any better ideas?