Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Recycle Your Plastic!

No. Not your credit cards. Although, that has it's merits as well. I'm talking about your plastic pots. Flower pots that is. You know, the ones you get when you come home from Bayer's Nursery or the latest herb sale. You transport your plants into the ground, or a ceramic planter and, if you're like me, the plastic pots get relegated to the garage. Or worse, they languish in a corner of your garden in an unsightly stack.

You have options, of course. You could drop these off at your local recycling center or have them picked up from your recycling service. But from May 1 through October 31, the Missouri Botanical Gardens is collecting these plastic pots. Simply bring your pots to the Monsanto Center parking lot at 4500 Shaw Blvd at Vandeventer and your plastic pot will be recycled to create landscaping plastic timber. Now THAT's cool! Recycled plastic timber is used in many ways, but often it is turned into retaining walls, benches, picnic tables, and playground pieces that may come to a park or recreation area near you soon. You can even purchase some of the recycled timber for your own landscaping uses by contacting Ryan Enterprises.

The program asks that you sort your plastic pots into groups, #2, #5, and #6. What does this mean exactly? Well, plastic pots are created into one of several groups of plastic. Each type has a different chemical structure and breaks down in a different way. Your pot should have a symbol indicating the type of plastic it is, usually on the bottom of the pot. If you're not sure, ask someone at the Monsanto Center. The Plastic Pot Recycling Program asks that you shake loose all soil, metal and remove any debris from your pots to prevent them from interfering with the recycling process.

In the event that the Monsanto Center is too far a journey for you, there are seven "satellite" recycling centers as well. Check out the Missouri Botanical Garden's website for additional details.