An initiative to recover thousands of bullets

A Quebec businessman and tennis enthusiast has set a goal of making it easier to recover and reuse balls. Because if these little yellow balls seem harmless, they are actually very contaminated.

The ball is made primarily of rubber, and takes nearly 400 years to decompose. Every year in the country, at least 9 million are used by recreational players.

“To give a strong environmental picture, the tennis ball and the tire are almost the same. The problem is the same for both. We can’t bury them, because they generate fumes and greenhouse gases,” explains Pierre Langlois, President of Recycle Balles Canada.

Working in the environmental field himself, Mr. Langlois wanted to find a solution to give a second life to these little yellow things, at a time when a passion for tennis was growing in Canada.

A former player and founder of the Laval University Rouge et Or tennis program, Mr. Langlois was inspired by an American company called Recycle Balls.

It retrieves tennis balls collected from clubs in the United States – approximately 3 million balls a year – and through its Burlington factory, pickles and grinds them.

The materials then created can be used in different ways. In particular, it can be incorporated into the coating of tennis courts, in order to make the surface more spongy.

It’s what is being used on the grounds of the US Open in New York and will be used in the new venues at Toronto’s Sobis Stadium.

boxes near the stadiums

Not only was the entrepreneur inspired by Recycle Balls, he has been with the company for three years, since there are no similar factories in Canada.

See also  In the UK, 60 people were stranded for 3 days in a pub due to a snowstorm

Tendev, the non-profit organization running the project, was started here.

In order to get the little yellow balls back from the Quebec players, Mr. Langlois brought the recycling bins from the American company. Offered at a cost of $15 (which is used to pay for transportation) for each club or individual that wants to get it, it allows you to collect 200 balls.

“We don’t have the same tax advantage as in the US, so we have to sell the boxes. Currently, we don’t have a major sponsor that allows us to take on these costs, we follow the user pays principle.”

Montreal and Toronto Championships

Since there is no plant to process them in Canada, they are sent back to the United States.

Last year, more than 50,000 balls were collected through various clubs in Quebec. Of the lottery, 15,000 were recovered at the end of the Montreal and Toronto championships, and Tennis Canada was a partner in the adventure.

“This year, we aim to save about 200,000 bales,” wishes Mr Langlois.

Would like to export the project to Ontario

Pierre Langlois wants all of Quebec’s indoor tennis clubs to join his tennis ball initiative by the end of the year.

Some of them already have refund boxes. Such is the case at the IGA Stadium in Montreal and the 3R Tennis Club in Trois-Rivières.

After that, the entrepreneur wants to export his project outside the borders of Quebec, to Ottawa and Toronto.

Harder outside

At the moment, recovery boxes are difficult to transplant into outdoor lands.

See also  Jean-Yves Le Drian denounces Boris Johnson's "populist maneuvers"

Since the boxes are made of cardboard and can be retrieved themselves, they risk breaking down after a shower or even being stolen.

Despite these shortcomings, few Quebec clubs are involved in the initiative. This is particularly the case in the Club de Tennis du Tracel, in the Cap-Rouge region of Quebec.

Describing himself as an environmentalist, Claude Bazin, president of the club, has been committed to the project since last year.

also in store

But Mr Langlois has found an alternative solution for tennis players who want their balls back.

The boxes were installed at specialty stores Tenniszon, in the Montreal area, and Fradette Sport, in Quebec.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.