This week Joe Lamp’l interviews Dr. Steven Cline, the person credited with founding and managing the largest and most successful plastic pot recycling program in the country, found at the Missouri Botanical Garden. He clearly understands the challenges to starting a successful program and the barriers to even great opportunity. In this most interesting interview, learn what you can do to keep all those pots out of the landfill.
Hi everybody, it’s Joe Lamp’l and welcome to Growing a Greener World. This is a show for people who love to garden and spend time outdoors, and who really care about environmental stewardship.
Of all the hits I get to my website and blog, one of the most popular search terms by far is plastic pot recycling. And for good reason. With the millions of pots and containers out there, people are looking for an eco-friendly way to dispose of or recycle them. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. This week, we get to the bottom of that by interviewing with Dr. Steven Cline. He founded and oversees the nations largest and most successful plastic pot-recycling program at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
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Intro to Dr. Steven Cline
As gardeners and weekend warriors, we do so much to beautify our lawns and landscapes. But in the process of planting, pruning and ongoing maintenance, we generate a great deal of waste. Sadly, much of that ends up in the landfill.
Take for example the millions of plastic pots we discard each year. Unfortunately, options for what we do when them once they’re empty are limited. Unlike yard debris, you can’t compost plastic pots and relative few are recycled. So even the best intentioned, environmentally conscience steward is given few options when it comes to responsible disposal.
According to the EPA, of the nearly 27 million tons of plastic generated in the United States in 2003, less than 4% of it was recycled—and very little of that was garden-related.
Yet in the midst of this less than encouraging news, positive things are happening. In 2008 the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Plastic Pot Recycling program recycled over 150,000 pounds of horticultural plastic originally destined for landfills. With the cooperation of concerned citizens and local garden center drop-off sites, it was their most ambitious and successful endeavor yet.
The ‘MOBOT’ recycling program was started in 1997, thanks to a plethora of pots piling up in Dr. Steven Cline’s garage, the program’s founder and Manager of the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening. Since then, the program has collected and prevented over 300 tons of horticultural waste from going into landfills. The Garden’s successful program in St. Louis is the most extensive public garden-recycling program in the United States.
Dr. Steve Cline is on the line now to tell us more about the program:
Steve Cline Interview (not transcribed)
Outro: Dr. Steven Cline is founder of the program and manages the Kemper Center for Home Gardening at the Missouri Botanical Garden. To learn more, you can watch the episode where we visit MOBOT. And remember, if you have a comment about today’s interview or anything at all for that matter, you can call us at 206.337.0375 or send an email to email@example.com.
Contact Links from interview:
Well, that’s it for today. This show was produced by The joe gardener® Media Network
You can access the show notes from this episode as well as any previous shows on our website here. You can also order a copy of my latest book, The Green Gardener’s Guide and I will personally inscribe it for you! And don’t forget to check out the blog; Compost Confidential, that’s where I share my insiders view on the lessons and news of gardening and living green.
Until next time consider this from
~Mohandas K. Gandhi
There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed
Think about it!
Thanks for listening! This is Joe Lamp’l and I’ll see you back here next week for more Growing a Greener World.