Got Plastic? Recycle it!

Gardening isn’t always green; millions of pounds of plastic pots, cell packs, trays and other containers end up in landfills every year.

recycle-plastics-blogIt’s ironic an industry that’s all about greening up our yards and neighborhoods is one of the contributors to waste in our communities. For every garden center, nursery or big box store that sells plants, there is a mountain of plastic waste.

For many years this kind of waste couldn’t be recycled, but that’s changing. The members of  Garden Centers of Colorado have started a garden plastics recycling program to help reduce the amount of horticultural waste that finds its way into landfills every year.

Plastics are collected, ground and recycled to make other plastic products, like landscaping timbers.

For a list of participating sites, please click on this link. If you don’t see a recycling site in your area, urge your favorite garden center to join Garden Centers of Colorado in its efforts.

There’s also a drop-off event on June 27 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Anyone can drop off clean plastic pots, hanging baskets, 4 & 6 packs and carrying trays at the gardens at that time. This event is sponsored by Garden Centers of Colorado, Monrovia, the Denver Post and Denver Recycles.

Here are a dozen additional ways to recycle gardening plastics right at home:

  1. Turn black plastic pots into decorative pots with these clever instructions found at Garden Web.
  2. Wash and reuse small plastic pots for starting seeds next gardening season
  3. Donate to schools for their seed starting efforts
  4. Pot transplants to give to friends and neighbors at a plant exchange party
  5. Use the large black landscaping posts for growing veggies in containers
  6. Save for u-dig or u-pick fields and gardens
  7. Take carrying trays with you to garden centers next year when buying plants
  8. Repot hanging baskets instead of buying new hanging baskets
  9. Place pots upside down to add height to container gardens
  10. Use to cover plants from an early frost
  11. Organize the workbench using pots for tools, plant stakes, odds & ends
  12. Set plastic container near garden to collect yard waste, like clipped blooms and leaves, for the compost pile.

How do you recycle your garden plastic? Please share your ideas here.


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