In the Fall of 2020, Ray DeFeo of Prides Corner Farms approached the VNLA about a possible joint effort to pilot a Plastic Pot Recycling Program in Vermont for VNLA members. We immediately said YES and the Zoom meetings began! We are so grateful to Prides Corner for including us in the pilot program which was launched in 2021. We are happy to report it was a success thanks to our members who hosted the drop off sites and to the many members who took the time to drop their containers off for recycling. The program will continue in 2022 and we will be announcing the drop off dates in the near future.
Prides Corner Farm is a member of MPS (More Profitable Sustainability), a worldwide program that provides monitoring, certification and accountability for environmental impact. They report their usage of fertilizers, pesticides, energy, land and water to compare with other growers and finding ways to reduce their environmental impact. Because Prides is a large nursery, they produce enough waste to recycle it in bulk. Every year they recycle: 300,000 pounds of greenhouse film, 100,000 pounds of waste plastic, and 100,000 pounds of used plastic pots.
All containers/plastic pots of any size (1gal, 2, gal, etc) with the designation/symbol #2 and #5 plastics can be recycled. Pots must be separated into groups: #2 plastics in one group and #5 plastics in another group when bringing them to the VNLA collection sites. ALL POTS MUST be empty with no tags or trash. They do not have to be cleaned.
HOW CAN POTS BE RECYCLED:
Again, pots must be sorted according to #2 plastics and #5 plastics when being dropped off at collection sites. VNLA members can also choose to construct their own pallets and drop off the pallets to the collection sites. Pallets must be no taller than 7 1/2’ and must be loadable via a forklift. Please see the photo for reference. If you want to make your own pallet please contact Ralph Fitz-Gerald or Melita Bass for more specifics.
WHO CAN RECYCLE:
For now this program is open ONLY to VNLA members. Individual sites may choose on their own to open up this recycling opportunity to non-VNLA members. The goal here is to start small so we can be successful and not overwhelm any one collection site. We will continue to monitor this program as it proceeds over the summer to make any adjustments as needed.
Five VNLA members have graciously offered to be collection sites for this program with six locations as drop-off sites. They are as follows:
Evergreen Gardens – Waterbury Center
Gardener’s Supply Co. – Williston
Gardener’s Supply Co. – Lebanon, NH
Greenhaven Gardens & Nursery – New Haven
Horsford Gardens & Nursery – Charlotte
Once the pots are collected at our VNLA member collection sites, Prides Corner will be picking up the loaded, sorted pallets and truck them to East Jordan Plastics in East Jordan, Michigan. WOW!
WHEN CAN POTS BE RECYCLED:
In order to not overwhelm any one collection site we will have a staggered schedule so members will have multiple opportunities to participate in this program. If you have LARGE STOCKPILES of pots to recycle please stagger the amount you bring at one time to our collection sites. Again, we do not want to overwhelm any one collection site.
AGAIN, the pots have to be pre-sorted into the #2 and #5 categories as they are dropped off. We do not want to make extra work/labor for our collection site hosts. Members can also make their own pallets and deliver “pallets” to these collection sites.
THANK YOU TO PRIDES CORNER FARMS & OUR COLLECTION SITES!
If you have any questions at all about what you can recycle and how it must be sorted please contact the VNLA office: firstname.lastname@example.org.