2012 Plastic Pot Recycling Program to Open April 2

Don’t pitch those pots! Help reduce the amount of horticultural waste in landfills by recycling your plastic garden pots, polystyrene cell packs and plant trays at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Plastic Pot Recycling will be offered starting April 2 and will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through October 31 at the Garden’s Monsanto Center, 4500 Shaw Blvd. An additional 13 retail garden centers across the St. Louis region will be participating in the recycling project in 2012.

The Missouri Botanical Garden operates the most extensive public garden recycling program in the nation. With the addition of 140,000 pounds of horticultural waste in 2011, the Garden’s Plastic Pot Recycling program has saved over one million pounds of plastic garden pots, cell packs and plant trays from landfills to date. The goal for this program is to divert materials from local landfills by forging partnerships that will work to manufacture plastic timbers from 100 percent horticulture waste.

“These partnerships are crucial to find alternative ways to re-use plastic garden waste otherwise headed to landfills,” said program founder and organizer Dr. Steven Cline. “The public interest for recycling garden pots and trays is astonishing. Each year we offer this program, the response is stronger and we are proud to share this with gardening retailers who support the environmental effort.”

Horticulture plastic will be accepted at the Garden’s main collection facility located at the west parking lot of the Monsanto Center, 4500 Shaw Blvd. at the corner of Vandeventer. Thirteen area garden centers will serve as satellite collection sites in 2012: Bowood Farms, Crabapple Cove Nursery, Garden Heights Nursery, Greenscape Gardens, Hartke Nursery, Hillerman’s Nursery and Florist, Rolling Ridge Garden Center, Sherwood’s Forest Nursery and Garden Center, Schmittel’s Nursery, Summer Winds Nursery, Thies Farm and Greenhouse, University Gardens and Waldbert & Sons Garden Center. Each satellite collection site will collect horticultural plastic during their normal business hours from April 2 through September 30. Visit www.plasticpotrecycling.org for specific location and contact information.

Horticultural plastic accepted includes cell packs, trays, pots of all sizes and hanging baskets. Please shake soil and rocks out of containers and remove all metal hangers, rings or other foreign materials. Plastic bags or clay pots will not be accepted. Separate #6 plastic cell packs and trays from #2 and #5 plastic pots into the recycling trailers. Garden edging, plastic sheeting materials and food plastic will not be accepted.

The Missouri Botanical Garden strives to reduce as much of this material headed to landfills as possible and to find an alternative for its use by diverting it back into other products.

Plastic is recycled locally and converted into landscape timbers used to build raised beds and short retaining walls. Timbers measure six by six inch by eight feet long. More information on purchasing timbers may be found at www.plasticpotrecycling.com.

Grants from the St. Louis-Jefferson Solid Waste Management District, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and California-based Monrovia Growers also support the program.