I have a little issue happening in my garden shed... it's crept up on me slowly but all of a sudden I've been overrun by plastic plant pots.
As I have an aversion to throwing things in the rubbish that will add to landfill for the next 100 years, I've collected way too many plastic pots telling myself, "that pot could come in handy for something one day", knowing full well I'd never use some of them ever again!
I decided I'd have a little clean out and take all my unwanted pots to the recycling centre at our local council rubbish depot only to find out they don't accept them as recycling material and they would have to go in with the general waste & I would have to pay $10 for the delightful act - hell no I think not! So, back home they came with me and back into the shed they went. Feeling slightly deflated but mostly frustrated I thought I'd have to accept the fact I'd have to build a shed for all my unwanted, probably never-to-be-used again pots...
Then fate stepped in and I received an email from a wholesale plant supplier announcing they have just introduced a "Pot Buy Back Scheme". TIMING!! Not only will they collect them - they also pay you for them! OK so you wouldn't be banking on paying your mortgage off with pots but every little cent counts. The only catch (there's always a catch!) is that they only buy back certain pots and once which have come from their nursery. Fair enough. It's definitely something I'll be keeping in mind for future jobs and sharing with others in the industry.
But in the meantime what to do with my random assortment of plastic? Well I came across a few recycling initiatives around the country, including this recycling centre in Victoria (the video is a little long but worth watching for some interesting facts about recycling plastic pots)Closer to home there is a collection centre at Eden Gardens and another at Sydney Wildflower Nursery
The reason I've found for council rubbish depots not accepting them is rather a poor one if you ask me - sheer laziness (something new for councils!!) as it comes down to the cleaning process apparently as pots need to be cleaned with high-pressure water and chemically treated to remove contaminants which interfere with recycling machinery. I don't buy this as you can see from the above video it IS possible.
So think twice when next planting out your garden about what to do with all those pots you're left with at the end - they don't have to go in the rubbish. Talk to your nursery centre about setting up a recycling centre if they don't already have one in place. This is really important for us all to do - there is an alternative and we should start demanding it be more available.Take back your garden shed from all those pots!!