How to Recycle Plastic Flower Pots

Written by cynthia measom
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How to Recycle Plastic Flower Pots
A plastic flowerpot can be recycled or used again rather than discarded or stored. (potted flower image by AGphotographer from

Used plastic flower pots, especially black ones that came from the nursery, often become nothing more than dust-gatherers and space-hogs in the corner of your garage or storage shed. Although storing the pots is better than sending them to a landfill, where it will take an indeterminate amount of time for them to degrade, you can also recycle these plastic containers at a facility that accepts such items, or you can implement creative ways to use the pots once again.

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  1. 1

    Keep a small plastic flower pot by your dog food, cat food, bird seed or potting soil and use it as a scoop.

    How to Recycle Plastic Flower Pots
    Scoop up wild bird seed and distribute it. (bird seeds loose image by Allyson Ricketts from
  2. 2

    Fill a medium-sized pot 3/4 full of sand and use it as an outdoor ashtray, or put flower pots outside near a sandbox for children to use for building castles and forts. You can even take the pots along on a beach outing.

    How to Recycle Plastic Flower Pots
    Use old flower pots for sand play. (Welsh Sand Castles image by Timothy Grove from
  3. 3

    Place small or medium-size flower pots in areas where you need waste receptacles but don't want to buy something to serve the purpose, such as for disposing of lint from your clothes dryer. You can line the pots with small trash-can liners.

  4. 4

    Collect vegetables from your garden or fruit from your trees in a large-size plastic flower pot. Store fruit or veggies that don't require refrigeration in one of these pots.

  5. 5

    Use jumbo-sized plastic pots for small garden tools, shop rags, pet toys, children's playthings or any other items that need a storage place. Use small or medium-size flower pots for odds and ends in your home such as loose change, ribbons or bows, hair accessories or craft supplies. Cover the outside of the pot with colourful contact paper, or cut fabric and attach it to the pot with a hot glue gun for a decorative effect.

  6. 6

    Nail plastic flower pots, with the open end out, to a shed, garage or the side of your house to create a nesting container for birds. Birds such as sparrows and mourning doves will take advantage of this offering.

  7. 7

    Place larger pots upside down over fragile or young plants that need protection from frost. The pots will keep the plants from freezing and dying. Remove the pots during the daytime so the plants can receive light.

Tips and warnings

  • Call local garden centres and ask whether they sponsor a recycling program for plastic flower pots. Some garden centres will take the containers back as a courtesy but may not have the means to recycle them and instead throw them away.
  • Contact your waste disposal service and inquire about recycling plastic flower pots. Even if your disposal service doesn't recycle, you may be able to get information from them about who does in your area.

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