Meg Jordan oversees the LEPS Demonstration Garden.

Recycling reaches into gardens

From pots to pesticides, gardening supplies can go green.

When it comes to gardens, what can be recycled?

Plants can be composted, tree limbs chipped, and a great deal can go out in green waste, but there are also solid items that are harder to deal with.

When it comes to the plastic pots that many locals accumulate, most of them can be reused or recycled.

Larger pots can be re-used and will be accepted by many local businesses.

“A lot of times, nurseries will take back the pots,” said Meg Jordan, the Langley Demonstration Garden coordinator for LEPS.

The demonstration garden currently has plenty of empty pots, which are headed off to a local charity for re-use, said Jordan.

“They are a re-use item for sure,” Jordan said, citing the old reduce, re-use, recycle mantra.

The pots can be re-used, or if they are broken, can go to recycling centres.

The same holds true for smaller pots and trays, including those used for bedding plants.

Depending on local recycling requirements, some types of plastic trays and pots can go into the curbside blue box system, if they have been cleaned of soil.

Paper-fibre pots and trays may also be eligible for recycling.

The maximum size in most jurisdictions for recycling a plastic pot is 25 litres, according to the Recycling Council of British Columbia.

Recycling depots around Langley also allow free drop off of larger items, or those that won’t go into the curbside system.

Check the recycling number on the plastic items to see whether they can go into the blue box or if they need to be taken to a centre.

The Metro Vancouver Green Can system allows for food waste as well as a lot of organic garden waste to be taken to the curb to turn into compost.

Everything from grass clippings to pizza boxes can go into the green can. Branches have to be bundled and tied with string and put out separately, and bundles should be less than one metre long and half a metre in diameter.

Old chemicals, including pesticides and herbicides, can be dropped off at recycling centres year round, or at the annual Household Hazardous Waste recycling event held in October.

Finally, trimmings from plants should be put out with green waste or composted on site, said Jordan.

Dumping trimmings by the side of the road, in ravines, or in parks can help spread invasive plants.

“A stem can take over an area,” said Jordan.

Plants meant for yards or pots are not meant for the wild, and can damage forest or streamside environments, she said.


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