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Jul 10, 2021 10:19 AM CST
northern San Diego, coastal
For many years, a large (drive around, collect plants, pay at exit), local nursery issued credit for empty containers (didn't matter if they had labels; any sturdy, black container was fine; the nursery reused them). They recycled 1-, 5-, and 15-gallon containers. The credit issued for each 1-gallon container was five cents, so I'd save them and take 20 or 30 cans back every time I visited the nursery. They recently reduced that to 2 cents per gallon container. It's no longer worth storing stacks of empty containers, so I just throw them in the trash.

Shame on them.

Do your nurseries offer credit for empty containers?

GrowDammit
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Jul 10, 2021 10:36 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
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I have never seen that before.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
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Jul 10, 2021 10:53 AM CST
Name: Jennifer
48036 MI (Zone 6b)
Cottage Gardener Houseplants Spiders! Heucheras Frogs and Toads Dahlias
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I have never heard of that. But one of our nurseries has a big bin in the lot that you can give them back
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Jul 10, 2021 11:07 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
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I've never seen 'buy back'. I have seen donate back for recycle (or other customers could take), and I have seen 'here are our extras super cheap for your home use'

My recycle accepts "flower pots."
Plant it and they will come.
Last edited by sallyg Jul 10, 2021 11:16 AM Icon for preview
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Jul 10, 2021 11:18 AM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
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Nope, never had that here so I think that was just a local thing your nursery decided to do.

And I sure don't think reducing the credit should be "shame on them". Good for them even taking on the task/man power of offering such a service. They are a business, trying to stay in business, they didn't have to do that. Just a simple request to customers that they would appreciate recycling would have been enough for me and for anyone who appreciates that nursery, the environment and in doing their part in helping out. If I can recycle anything, regardless of being monetarily compensated, it will always be worth it to me. It's not "what's in it for me?" rather, what small part can I personally contribute in helping the environment or helping a local business.
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Last edited by Calif_Sue Jul 10, 2021 11:20 AM Icon for preview
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Jul 10, 2021 11:44 AM CST
northern San Diego, coastal
There are several nurseries in San Diego County that give credit for empty containers. The two I'm most familiar with are
Briggs Trees [everything; not just trees]
They now take back only 5- and 15-gallon containers; credit for a 5-gallon is 20 cents.
http://www.briggstree.com/avai...
and
Evergreen Nursery (I think it's 80 acres)
https://www.evergreennursery.c...

Both companies have at least two locations and are open to both professionals and home gardeners with lower prices if you have an account, but even without an account, the prices are MUCH lower than at other nurseries.

Other, smaller nurseries will take the containers back (don't know if they reuse them or just trash them), but they don't issue credit against purchases.

Very interesting that nurseries in other parts of the country don't do this. Do you have any huge, drive-around nurseries that serve both pros and amateurs?

GrowDammit
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Jul 10, 2021 11:49 AM CST
Name: Nancy
North Dakota (Zone 4a)
GrowDammit, I either recycle containers or donate them to fellow gardeners because I don't like adding them to the landfill. Check to see if there are any gardening groups in your area and if you're a member of Facebook, chances are good that you can find a local gardening group there. One of the groups I belong to has a couple members who are always looking for containers. Unfortunately, I haven't found any local nurseries who will take them.
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Jul 10, 2021 11:53 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
No, there isn't room for those types of places in the Detroit area.

Personally for me to take back 20 or 30 containers a year or so for a $1.50, ain't worth my time. Even if I did it three times a year that means $5 back and yet I have spent hundreds of dollars paying for the 60-90 plants that were in those containers that I am taking back.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
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Jul 10, 2021 12:33 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
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I do not know of any drive around nurseries. Is it because you have year round climate for a lot of growers in the area?

The biggest nearest me moves plants grown elsewhere. I know of one huge greenhouse operation that might do a lot of propagation. And up potting.. Maryland Flower and Foliage.
Most stuff is sold at the big box and coming in pots from many miles away I guess. We are lucky if much gets recycled. I'd hate to see how much potting mix and plastic goes in the dumspter. Friend used to work at one, had a million extra pots hoarded.
Plant it and they will come.
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Jul 10, 2021 12:58 PM CST
northern San Diego, coastal
In the last 30 days, I re-landscaped 850 sf of the front yard, so I bought about 50 1-gallon and three 5-gallon plants (in case you're wondering, the 1-gallons cost between $3.50 and $4.50 ea; they'd be $8 to $12 at other nurseries, and some of the plants I got aren't stocked by the smaller nurseries). If they'd kept the credit at 5 cents, I could have gotten about $3 off my purchases. Not much, but it's enough incentive to make me to stack up the cans and return them on the next visit. I don't do Facebook, and my neighbors wouldn't want empty cans (short street with no DIY gardeners). I could use something like Freecycle or Buy Nothing, but I doubt my neighbors would tolerate scroungy cans stacked next to my driveway for more than a day. There's no HOA here, but I'd be a bit embarrassed to set anything out at the curb.

GrowDammit
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Jul 10, 2021 1:07 PM CST
northern San Diego, coastal
sallyg said:I do not know of any drive around nurseries. Is it because you have year round climate for a lot of growers in the area?


Yes, I'm sure that's a major reason we have drive-around nurseries (San Diego area). Plus there are gardeners EVERYWHERE and loads of professional landscape designers. Always a need for plants year 'round. Problem is...the cost of water is crazy high, so many folks have ripped out lawns and switched to succulents with rocks -- everything from gravel to river rocks to boulders to chunks of glass. Sigh.

Getting off the main topic. Sorry.

GrowDammit
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Jul 10, 2021 1:59 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
If you are really upset with the return amount going from 5 cents to 2 cents, just buy one or two plants less a year and you'll come out ahead.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
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Jul 10, 2021 2:16 PM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
Let's all play ukulele
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland Composter
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds Butterflies
Your thread, you can take it anywhere you like.
Rock yards are a different look but if that's the climate..
My locale should be forest. But if you want sun for vegetables you need distance between trees and that= lawn here.
Mulched beds are very popular too.
Plant it and they will come.
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Jul 10, 2021 2:16 PM CST
Kaneohe, Hawaii
I asked a friend who has a nursery. She said it wouldn't be worth it commercially.

First, any reputable grower would have to spend too much time cleaning and sterilizing pots from weed seeds, insects, small worms, pesticides, and other disease vectors.

She doesn't know of anyone who recycles pots now because China stopped accepting certain plastics several years age

The usual pots are made up of different plastics. If you look at the 'chasing arrows triangle' on the bottom of the pot you will find the type listed, usually 2, 4, 5, or 6. These have to be recycled differently.

You can check with your city recycling office to see what is being taken.

For Freecycle put the pots by you front porch. Nobody will complain if they are there for a day.

List the pots in the 'free' section of Craig's list.

Finally, this is a complete story from a landscapers association about the problem.

https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.mnla...
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Jul 10, 2021 2:59 PM CST
northern San Diego, coastal
Tomtom2 said:I asked a friend who has a nursery. She said it wouldn't be worth it commercially.

First, any reputable grower would have to spend too much time cleaning and sterilizing pots from weed seeds, insects, small worms, pesticides, and other disease vectors.


I doubt they clean them. These huge nurseries often allow giant weeds to grow in their plants. It's puzzling, as they have employees walking around watering what's not covered by the rainbird-style sprinkler systems, but they don't pull the weeds. Sometimes, other desirable plants sprout from seed, so you can get two for one (hah!)

The usual pots are made up of different plastics. If you look at the 'chasing arrows triangle' on the bottom of the pot you will find the type listed, usually 2, 4, 5, or 6. These have to be recycled differently.


I'll look for this. I still have a few not yet planted.

You can check with your city recycling office to see what is being taken.


I'll call. Would be happy to take them there. We recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans ourselves. The city adds the cost of that service to our water bill, but we take them in every couple months.

For Freecycle put the pots by you front porch. Nobody will complain if they are there for a day.
List the pots in the 'free' section of Craig's list.


Okay, you recyclers win. I'll find a way to keep them out of the landfills. Promise.

Will read the article you posted later.

Thanks.
GrowDammit
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Jul 10, 2021 5:34 PM CST
northern San Diego, coastal
Tomtom2 wrote:
"The usual pots are made up of different plastics. If you look at the 'chasing arrows triangle' on the bottom of the pot you will find the type listed, usually 2, 4, 5, or 6. These have to be recycled differently."

I checked four 1-gallon pots, all with the same plant, all from the same nursery. Each container is a slightly different design, and one looks like it was used a dozen or more times. Think of the brackets below as triangles:

[5]
PP
Made in USA

[2]
Made in China

[2]
HDPE
can't read country of origin

[5]
HDPE
17
no country of origin

GrowDammit
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Jul 10, 2021 7:37 PM CST
Georgia (Zone 8a)
Region: Georgia Enjoys or suffers hot summers Dog Lover Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Hummingbirder Butterflies Bee Lover Garden Art
Some plastics are not recyclable (I don't remember which numbers).

Lowes recycles them here, but we don't have anyone who does otherwise. I end up just throwing them away as our trash company recycles.
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