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Recycling Nursery Containers

Some recyclers are offering payment to the grower for truckload quantities of nursery containers if they have a market in United States. Call them to discuss your needs.

Preparing nursery containers for recycling

•   Shake nursery containers clean of dirt.
•   Nest the containers like with like to increase the weight on the truck.
•   The recycler might pay you for truckload quantities of containers shaken clean and nested on pallets. 

Talk with the recycler first, but here are some different ways to recycle nursery containers.

1. Shake, stack and wrap on pallets  

This is the recommended method, since it ensures containers are consolidated as much as possible for efficient transportation. You will save on tipping fees. If you live within 100 miles of the recycler, you might receive some payment.  In some situations, the recycler will sort stack and wrap for you but not offer payment.                                                    

             Shake clean                                    Nest containers on pallet                                  Stretch wrap
         (No need to wash)    

2. Shake, sort by plastic type, stack and wrap on pallets

Sorting nursery containers by plastic type is the preferred method for most recyclers, so this method may increase their value. However, we recommend caution before attempting this since containers are not clearly labeled and may even be made of mixed plastics. We also estimate it will cost you about $20/pallet in labor to sort the containers.

3. Unsorted nursery containers can be recycled

This is the most convenient method, but it has limitations since they have very low value due to little weight on the truck. You must be close to a recycler or be prepared to pay the haulage. You still save on tipping fees.

4. Loading them into a dumpster and driving them to the recycler

Using your skidsteer to load them into a dump truck and driving them to the recycler might be the easiest way for the grower. The recycler does not favor this method, all those mosquitoes in the bottom of the dumpster enter the recycling facility and drive the recycler crazy. Also think how much air you are shipping so don't think of travelling far or you will be in the hole!

5. Baling 

If you have a baler, this is definitely an option. Often recyclers that accept baled plastic will ship overseas and you will receive little if any payment from the recycler. If the pots are baled tightly it is difficult for the recycler to sort them by plastic type but baling them loosely might work. Loose baling increases the weight on the truck and will reduce your haulage costs and you might be paid by the recycler. Check with the recycler beforehand.  The recycler will probably want a trial bale first. Do not be tempted to mix other yard waste in with the bales, your recycler will walk away from you fast!


Preparing nursery containers for recycling

It takes a little effort but think of those tipping fees you will avoid paying!

•    Shake nursery containers clean of dirt.

•    Nest the containers like with like to increase the weight on the truck. 

Always talk with the recycler first.