What happens to Game and Field element kits after season

Hi all,
A student asked me a question regarding what happens to the game and field element kits after the season is over. I told them I didn’t know. What happens to these kits after the season is over and the new game is out? Does Vex have some kind of refund thing, or do they just sit in a corner.

I am not a VEX employee, but I am pretty sure you can’t get a refund for previous VEX games. Anyway, my team just has the former season’s Game and Field elements stored in a shed, but sometimes we used those elements to design a nonofficial, just for a fun game or simply just for programming practice to teach our team’s newbies.


they become objects you can throw at teammates in order to motivate them


thats what the TT poles are for and that’s why I refuse to throw them away


There is an online challenge for reusing past VRC game elements. Once you purchase the game and field elements, they are yours. VEX has been looking about how to have more eco friendly parts. but each year the game is different and not big reuse potential. Give parts to daycare, little ones like bright shiny things. I think more can be done to think what happens with game pieces by GDC and VEX with end of season disposal and reuse opportunities.

I avoid dumpstering things as much as possible. Even using ITZ cones as hall passes…


Most of the game field is actually recyclable. Once you’re done with it, I’d recommend trying to recycle the bits that can be. The main plastics we use in the get kits are HDPE, Polycarbonate, ABS, & PVC.

Change Up balls even include the recycling symbol is even included on the balls themselves. In general, all parts that are hollow and don’t have any internal ribs will be HDPE. Those can be recycled just like any other plastic.

The rings on Change Up goals are ABS. ABS is coded 7 but it is 100% recyclable, but you may want to check with your local disposal service first because some places have different requirements for disposal.

Clear flat sheets of plastic are generally Polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is also coded 7, the same as ABS. Polycarbonate is also recyclable if your disposal service allows it.

Finally, all the pipe extrusion is PVC. Because of the C in PVC it’s a bit harder to recycle. Good news though, PVC is probably the most reusable resource in projects that aren’t VRC robots. I am constantly seeing DIY hacks that use PVC pipe. Plus if you’ve used your fields enough you should have a wonderful robot induced patina on those pipes.

I hope to include more recycle symbols on more parts to make this more clearer in the future.


In my opinion, I believe keeping most game elements in a school closet or attic is a consideration. If a new VEX game comes out there is a good probability it may have similar elements from another season within 5 years (not exact, but usually similar).


Just look at the round up rings.


Or the rings and bases from Quad Quandary (technically not vex but still relevant as this forum was used to talk about it)


My team was a school team, and we would give the pieces away to the students (seniors get first pick) as souvenirs. Then, at the club banquet, everyone would get sharpies and sign each other’s pieces like a yearbook. It’s something fun and a quick and easy way to get rid of a portion of the game elements.


To be clear, just because the plastics used have recycle symbols issued by the petroleum industry, does not mean that the plastics will be accepted by localities. The last I heard, around 10% of plastics across the board were recycled - the rest was disposed in landfills or dumped/burnt in non-environmentally friendly ways.

If VEX truly wishes to help the earth, then it should be willing to accept old game elements back to be properly processed.

I have tons of metal plates that are not reused in subsequent games. It would be nice to have future games designed to use one standard metal plate system that can be reused over and over.

We need to rethink our need to use plastics everywhere - there are plenty of documentaries about this global problem.

VEX can also remove the use of plastic packaging - like the silly plastic you peel off over V5 Brain displays, or in shipping. Globally, no customer needs plastics that they have to dispose of because they can not find new uses for. The first question with regards to product development should be “do we need to use plastic here? is there an alternative earth friendly solution?”

[adding link to deciphering those little numbers:

[one more addition - report on plastic industry and environmental impact:



2158 officially throws them in a random giant storage room at the school, never to be used again.


Put them on a shelf, one for each year. It makes for a nice decoration, and every time you think your robot sucks, you can look up at said shelf and think about how awful your robot was that year and be inspired knowing that it could be worse

Or just realize that through all these years you have never had a good robot


Does this also apply to IQ parts as well?

My school made their vex change up balls into trophies and gave them to everyone in the robotics club. I would say try something like that. Anyways past game elements become “souvenirs”.



VIQC game components are made from IQ pieces. IQ beams are mostly ABS. So they could be recycled if you wanted to. But I’d recommend using them for future robots or donate them to other IQ teams.

Clear plastic sheet used in the IQ system is PET and that is the most recycled plastic in the world.

VIQC game pieces vary wildly in material and to give a complete answer it’d have to be on a case by case basis. Usually the recycling logo will be included if it’s easily recycled.



We did this last year and they turned out pretty cool.


most of your iq parts can be used on robots in the next years so keep them.


We have made a commemorative item that is given to each team member after the season. The flags were easy to add plaque with all the team members names. With the cube we had to get a little creative but did the same. This year one of my students designed a stand to hold a ball and we are putting the team members names around the center ring.

The rest I keep for use in my class on robotics.


Wow, I wish my club did that! Do you have any photos of the plaques that you are willing to share in this thread?