Do you ever wonder what happens to all those plastic pots we put in the trash or enthusiastically send to the recycling center after installing the plants contained in them? Well, sadly not much. But the Missouri Botanical Garden has a highly successful recycling program that prompts a visit from Joe and Patti.
In this episode we learn about how MOBOT, as it is called, brings plastic pot recycling full circle from the waste that is created as we work to beautify the landscape. This brain-child of Dr. Steven Cline began about 12 years ago as he pondered what to do about the mountain of empty pots piling up in his garage.
Since there is no industry standard as to size or even the material garden containers are made from, it is a challenge to recycle them. But MOBOT found a way to keep a tremendous amount of this waste out of the St. Louis landfill. Through their efforts 130,000 pounds of horticultural waste was kept out of the landfill in 2009, alone. Steve tells us that the amount of gardening plastic coming into the U.S. each year would fill a baseball stadium. And none of it is biodegradable. But there are a number of options on the horizon.
MOBOT has plastic lumber made from the pots they recycle and Patti and Joe pay a visit the Plastic Lumber Company for a first-hand look at the process. William Evans of Fertil was recently with me at Habersham Gardens in Atlanta explaining that forward thinking companies are creating biodegradable and compostable containers that can be planted directly into the garden or can be discarded in your compost bin. Even if you don’t compost they will break down in the landfill and that means you are doing something good for the planet!
And speaking of recycling, Chef Nathan gives us some great tips and a delicious recipe for recycling items from your refrigerator. So don’t throw out those slightly ‘past their prime’ veggies, contain those chicken bones and come see what he cooks up.
For more information
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