Pickleball recycling coming to Lexington parks

Lexington’s pickleball players can continue to celebrate Earth Day past April with a new initiative to recycle pickleballs at Kirklevington Park.

Players will be able to recycle used, damaged and cracked pickleballs in bins specially labeled for pickleball recycling.

“The Kentucky Pickleball Association is excited to work with Lexington to implement this ball recycling program,” said Dan Ewing, President of the Kentucky Pickleball Association. “For years, players have been asking if there was a way to recycle broken balls (which happens far more frequently than we'd like) rather than having them end up in a landfill.”

Pickleballs are made from a type of plastic that most recycling facilities, including the Lexington Recycle Center, do not have an outlet for. The collected pickleballs will be recycled through P3 Cares, a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement, accessibility and sustainability of pickleball.

“I learned about the possibility for pickleball recycling through our LEED for Cities cohort,” said Jada Walker Griggs, Sustainability Program Manager Senior. “I’m excited to implement this innovative program here in Lexington. It’s another great example of how individual community members can make a difference in keeping materials out of the landfill.”

At this time, bins will be placed only at the Kirklevington Park pickleball courts at 3343 Spangler Drive. Kirklevington Park has the largest pickleball facility in Lexington, with 12 courts available.

“Pickleball is an excellent way for people to stay active and socialize,” said Monica Conrad, Director of Lexington Parks & Recreation. “As we prioritize neighborhood infrastructure improvements, pickleball courts were regularly identified as needing expansion. Our team continues to roll out new court locations at many of our amazing local parks, with more to come. Having a recycling program is such a great way for players to be stewards to our parks and reduce the environmental impact of this popular sport.”

As the popularity of pickleball grows in Lexington and court access is expanded, additional recycling locations may be added.

The pickleball recycling program is a partnership between Lexington’s Division of Environmental Services Sustainability section, Lexington Parks and Recreation, and the Kentucky Pickleball Association. Find out more information on the Sustainability page

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