Gardening season is growing strong, and with that comes many discarded plastic pots. Sadly, most of these pots cannot be recycled at the Material Recycling Facilities (MRFs) in Massachusetts, to which Newton sends its recyclable materials. The optical sorters that separate materials at the MRF can’t “see” black or dark green plastics and they end up contaminating other recyclable materials. For that reason, RecycleSmartMA advises that these pots should go in the trash (along with black take out containers).

As an alternative, you can try to bring these pots back to nurseries or home improvement stores for reuse or you can offer them to neighbors, local garden clubs, etc.

Remember, if you’re in doubt, use the Recyclopedia tool to find out what can be recycled and what goes in the trash.