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Are Plastic Plant Pots Recyclable?

ask evelynDear Evelyn:

I’ve been gardening a lot lately. Are plastic plant pots recyclable? What about the bags that compost and mulch come in?

-LK in Fremont

Dear LK:

Yes, plastic plant trays and pots can be recycled in your curbside recycling cart. Make sure that they are clean of dirt (and plants) first!

Many nurseries and garden centers, including Lowe’s and Home Depot, will take back plastic pots and recycle them.

Plant pots that are marked “compostable” cannot be recycled or composted because they contaminate the other plastics and they take too long to break down in Seattle’s composting process. “Compostable” plastic pots must be thrown in the garbage.

Ceramic and terra cotta clay plant pots cannot be recycled. Broken ones should go in the garbage, and many thrift stores will take clean unwanted ones.

The plastic tags that identify plants are too small to be recycled, and should go in the garbage, if you no longer have use for them.

Empty bags that contained mulch, compost or other soil amendment should go in the garbage.

You can safely dispose of leftover bags of fertilizer for free at anyone of our local hazardous waste facilities.

Visit to find out where you can properly dispose of your unwanted items.

Happy gardening!