The Green Room
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Piles of Plastic

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Things To Do With Nursery Pots
     
    The wonderful variety of plants makes gardening fun, but what do you do with all those leftover pots? Millions of them end up in landfills every year. Nurseries are reluctant to reuse them, and many curbside recyclers do not accept them. But there are certain steps you can take to reduce the waste stream created by nursery pots.

     
    Most plastic planting containers are stamped with a number inside a triangular recycling symbol, indicating they type of plastic. Check with your recycler to see which numbers it accepts.
     
    Contact local botanical gardens or Master Gardener offices to see if they organize, or know of, programs for nursery pot recycling or reuse.
     
    Ask about return or recycling programs at garden centers where you buy plants. Some will accept returns if you are willing to clean pots before bringing them back.
     
    Look for plants grown and sold in biodegradable pots that can be planted and left in the soil. 
     
    Reuse pots for plant sales or trades. Before reusing, be sure to clean off traces of old soil.
     
     
    Cooperative Exenstion Service
    University of the District of Columbia
    (202) 274-7115
     
    Maryland Master Gardener Program
    Home and Garden Information Center (410) 531.5556
    http://mastergardener.umd.edu/
     
    Virginia Master Gardner Program
    Virginia Cooperative Extension
    (540) 231-2714
     
    Source: Better Homes and Garden / April 2009