How to Recycle Used Plant Pots


The spring and summer bring an abundance of new plant life to yards and gardens, but the aftermath of a gardening spree can result in a pile of discarded plant pots from the nursery. These containers are too stiff and unwieldy to fit comfortably in garbage bags, and these plastics will not readily decompose in landfills. You can dispose of your collection of empty plant pots responsibly, and keep your gardening efforts a little greener, by finding a way to recycle them.

Step 1

Remove loose soil and rocks from the empty plant containers by turning them upside down over your yard or garden space and tapping the bottom of the pots to dislodge any debris.

Step 2

Locate the appropriate number indicating the plastic type for each container. This number will appear in a triangular recycling symbol on the bottom or side of the container.

Step 3

Sort your plant pots by plastic type, grouping like plastics together. If your containers do not have a plastic number on them, group them by appearance.

Step 4

Contact a gardening center or home improvement store and inquire about plant pot recycling. Many areas offer this service at nurseries and similar stores during the spring and summer. If such a program does not exist in your area, take your plant pots to a recycling center that accepts that type of plastic.


  • Anoka County Integrated Waste Management: Information about Plastic: Nursery Plant Containers
  • Michigan State University Libraries: Want to Recycle Those Plant Containers?
  • Plastics Recycling

Who Can Help

  • Find Recycling Centers
Keywords: recycling plant pots, plastics recycling, recycling old flowerpots

About this Author

Mandi Rogier is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about a wide range of topics. As a previous employee of Walt Disney World, she enjoys writing travel articles that make use of her extensive knowledge of Orlando theme parks.