Recycling sheet plastic and nursery pots
Hi - I have inherited a pile of heavy duty plastic 'tarps'. Some are clear and some are black. I was told the person here formerly put the black sheets on the garden to warm the soil and used the clear ones for 'hoop houses'. Are they recyclable? I also have a number of mostly black plastic nursery pots ranging from 4" to very large. I've been unsuccessful passing them on to gardeners or nurseries. Any ideas? Are they recyclable as well? Thanks very much, Virginia
Polk County Oregon
Thanks for your question about recycling your plastic gardening equipment, Virginia. I looked up the Polk County recycling facilities in Polk County at this website, and it would not appear that the sheet plastic (tarps) are currently recyclable. However, most of the nursery pots 4" and larger are one of the plastic industry's numbers between 1 and 7, so are recyclable. (Not so the 4- and 6-packs that are a flimsier type of plastic.) (In the Metro area, we have a specific website both listing and with photos of plastics that can be recycled.)
If you want to double check, calling any of the 5 companies should provide an answer. Personally, I've been able to take any size of plant containers to Fred Meyer or Home Depot, where they collect and return them to the growers. I'd also suggest you give the Polk County Extension Office a call (503-623-8395), since they might know of community gardens, school gardens or even individual Master Gardeners who have a use for both tarps and the containers.
I hope this information is helpful to you. Good luck!