Do you want the empty pots back?

What to do with the excess plastic containers that are used to grow plants in has always been a dilemma. This has been addressed before, with one company in England taking the lead. After talking to our garbage/ recycle company Sierra Disposal I have been told that we can recycle our plastic nursery pots with them. We have a dumpster that in the past was just for cardboard. Recently it was changed to a recycle bin that can take card board, plastic, aluminum, etc. They have told us that we can place the pots in the container and they will recycle them.

This is great news. In the past we just couldn’t take back the pots people wanted to return. We would end up with a giant pile of pots we just couldn’t use quickly enough. Now we can offer to take back the empty cell packs, gallon, and larger pots from the customer once they have finished their planting. I would like to encourage that they only bring back the pots from plants they have bought from us, but we won't get upset if a Home Depot pot or two shows up.

I don’t know if Sierra Disposal realizes the amount of plastic cans a nursery can end up with. For now we will see if we can fit them in the hopper we have, but I could see having a dedicated container just for the pots. Will start with this and see what happens.

Do other waste collection companies offer this to nurseries? What do other nurseries do with the empty pots they can’t use in their operation?