If you do any amount of gardening you inevitably have a pile of plastic pots cluttering up your yard. Cleaning up the clutter is a great activity for one of our warmer winter days. Winter is a great time for this activity for a couple of reasons, one of course being there are not many other things to do in the garden when the soil is either frozen or too wet to work with. The other advantage is that living things such as ants, bees and snakes that like to hide out in a pile of pots, are inactive in the cold weather.
You may want to save some pots for things such as starting seeds, transplanting seedlings, or dividing plants to give to friends. Lets face it though, you usually have more than you can use. There are several options in Watauga County for recycling the pots that you don’t need. Pots that are #1 or #2 plastic, as indicated by the symbol on the bottom of the pot, can be taken to your Watauga County Convenience Center or placed in your curbside recycling bin in the city of Boone. Often 1 gallon or larger black nursery pots are #2 plastic. Most smaller nursery pots or trays are #6 plastic. These will have to be taken to Watuaga County Old Landfill Convenience center on Old Landfill Road. . Local Garden Centers will also take back some of your plastic gardening waste. The Mustard Seed Market will take back 1 gal or larger pots along with trays. The Wrens Nest Landscaping and Garden Center will take back all pots and trays along with corrugated plastic pipe. Grandfather Mountain Nursery will take back 1 gal and larger pots. Check with others before you take them. Lowes Garden Center is a one-stop recycler of all your pots, trays, cell packs and tags. They can be pots from any nursery, they do not have to have purchased from Lowes. The pots are returned on the trucks to Metrolina Nursery where they are either reused or recycled. In just a 3 month pilot test at 22 stores Lowe’s recycled 230,00 pounds of plastic, leading them to expand the program to all store locations. It’s great to see recycling of pots becoming more widespread and available.