How to dispose of old potting soil?

In this article we discuss how to dispose of old potting soil. Furthermore, we also discuss how you can reuse it for other purposes around the house.

How to dispose of old potting soil?

You can use the following methods in order to dispose of old potting soil:

  • Take the Potting Soil to a Landfill
  • Take It to a Landscape Service Provider
  • Get a Dumpster
  • Hire a Soil Removal Company
  • Take It to a Soil Recycling Facility
  • Sell or Give It Away

Disposing potting soil

If you are a gardener, you will probably run into the problem of what to do with the old, used soil from your pots and planters at some time.

This is a prevalent question at the conclusion of the growing season or among individuals with limited outside space.

So, once your potting soil has nourished your plants but is dry and sterile, what do you do with it?

As you may know, getting rid of the dirt is impossible because dumping it in the garbage just means it will end up in a landfill.

Because of the soil cycle, the dirt will most likely wind up in another garden or field in a few years. So why not skip the middlemen and upcycle your old potting soil yourself?

There are various advantages to upcycling your soil. It saves you money, minimises waste, and is, above all, straightforward.

What is potting soil?

Potting soil, often called potting mix or miracle soil, is a substrate for growing plants, herbs, and vegetables in a pot or other long-lasting container. 

The word was first used in an issue of the American Agriculturist in 1861. The majority of the potting soil serves as a structural component.

How to make potting soil?

When it comes to growing in containers, soil preparation is just as important as it is in any garden. It is the cornerstone. It is the life’s staff. You get the concept by choosing your life-giving metaphor.

To put it another way, if you choose the correct potting mix formula for your plants, they will thrive. If you skimp on the soil, you will end up with weak, non-productive plants that require more maintenance and are vulnerable to a variety of pests.

You do not have to buy potting soil, of course. You may make your own from scratch. Sure, it will take longer, but it will be more rewarding, and you will know exactly what is in the soil because you are the one who mixed it up. 

A decent potting mix formula includes sterile garden loam, sand, peat moss (or coconut coir), and any other necessary ingredients.

  • 1 part peat moss or mature compost
  • 1 part garden loam or topsoil
  • 1 part clean builder’s sand or perlite

The organic material in the mix above offers structure, while the sand aids drainage. You may also add a balanced, slow-release organic fertiliser to the mix.

How to dispose of old potting soil?

You can use the following methods in order to dispose of old potting soil:

  • Take the Potting Soil to a Landfill
  • Take It to a Landscape Service Provider
  • Get a Dumpster
  • Hire a Soil Removal Company
  • Take It to a Soil Recycling Facility
  • Sell or Give It Away

We shall discuss these methods in more detail below.

Take the Potting Soil to a Landfill

Landfills are uncommon, but if one exists in your region, you can use it to dispose of your old dirt. You may look for a dump near you online or ask your friends, neighbours, or coworkers.

After you have found a suitable dumping site, you will need to pack the soil into plastic bags and drive it there in a pickup truck. You might expect to pay a fee for soil disposal at certain landfills, so be prepared to part with some cash.

Take It to a Landscape Service Provider

Landscapers are often in need of potting soil, so keep an eye out for them in your neighbourhood. 

This sort of dirt is also required by plant nurseries and garden stores, so if you have any in your neighbourhood, you may use them to dispose of the soil.

Only vast volumes of dirt will be accepted by these companies. They also only take pure (non-mixed) soil that can be readily regenerated or that is suitable for their landscaping projects. 

Some firms may pay you for your soil if it is of exceptional quality and fits their specifications.

Get a Dumpster

You can also rent a dumpster if you are prepared to pay for one. It is a quick and easy approach to get rid of potting soil. In metropolitan locations, dumpster rental companies are plentiful, and the dumpsters themselves can manage significant volumes of soil.

You just need to load your dirt into the trash and wait for the provider to come take it up. The dirt will most likely be disposed of in a landfill or possibly sold by the corporation.

Hire a Soil Removal Company

Using a dirt removal firm rather than hiring a dumpster is a better option. This is due to the fact that the firm will handle the loading. It is, however, costly because you will be charged for the loading labour.

Following the agreement on the removal price, the business will be able to handle everything–from loading to disposal in the proper location. Removal firms use huge trucks, so if you have a lot of soil, they will be perfect for you.

Take It to a Soil Recycling Facility

There are several soil recycling facilities that will gladly accept your old potting soil and revive it. To be approved by these institutions, your soil must be free of dangerous chemicals and contaminants. 

Some facilities will test the soil for these dangerous compounds, and you may be charged a fee for this service.

After finding a recycling business, all you have to do is take your dirt there and it will be removed from your hands. The facility will renovate it, adding volume, bacteria, and nutrients before selling it to clients.

To see if your city offers this type of program:

  • Check your city’s webpage or neighbouring cities. Some cities limit access to these services to their own citizens. Other towns, on the other hand, make their leaf and yard waste collection services open to the public.
  • Look for phrases such as “leaf drop-off” or “yard-waste drop-off.” These initiatives are not always labelled as composting programmes.
  • Find out what types of yard trash are permitted. Dead flowers are normally permitted, but be certain that they will also accept your old potting soil. It is advised to generally bring potting soil and inquire on arrival.
  • Follow the drop-off instructions carefully. You could be requested to place your yard debris in brown composting bags, for example.

    They have the appearance of towering paper sacks. Composting bags should be available at your local hardware shop, according to the guidelines.

    Alternatively, the instructions may state that you may bring your yard trash in any container. They will just ask you to dump it.

Sell or Give It Away

Potting soil is a significant growth medium, and most people are seeking for free or low-cost ways to obtain it. As a result, you can inquire if your friends and neighbours are interested in your old dirt. 

You may also post it on the internet to boost your chances of selling it quickly.

After you have found someone who is interested in your soil, you may decide whether to sell it or give it out for free. Your recipient will need to renew the soil if they wish to use it to grow plants because it is aged.

How to Reuse Potting Soil

If the plant you were growing in it was healthy, you may usually reuse the potting soil. If you see pests or illnesses on your plants, sterilise the mix to avoid infecting the plants the next year. 

First, clean out the previous potting soil of any roots, grubs, leaves, or other trash. Then choose the most effective approach for eradicating bacteria and insects.

Solarizing is one method for soil sterilisation. It entails placing old potting soil in lidded five-gallon buckets ($8, The Home Depot) or securely sealed black plastic bags and keeping them in the sun for 4-6 weeks. 

Inside the buckets or bags, just enough heat builds up to kill bugs and germs. You may also use your oven to sterilise outdated potting soil. 

Place it in an oven-safe pan, cover it with foil, and bake it for 30 minutes at 180 to 200 degrees F.

It is also a good idea to use a candy or meat thermometer ($21, Williams Sonoma) to make sure the soil temperature stays below 200 degrees. 

Toxins can be released at higher temperatures. When the soil is done, remove it from the oven and cover it until it cools.

Another alternative is to microwave the food. Fill quart-size microwavable containers with old, damp potting soil.

Microwavable lids (never foil) can be poked with ventilation holes or left cracked to allow steam to escape. 

Heat for roughly 90 seconds for two pounds of dirt at maximum power. Remove the pots, tape up the vent holes, and allow the soil to cool fully before using.

You will need to refill the nutrients in your old potting soil after it is been sanitised. 

Combine equal parts fresh and old potting soil in a mixing bowl, then add a dosage of slow-release fertiliser pellets ($18, The Home Depot) according per package guidelines. 

Alternatively, you may add one part compost to three or four parts old potting soil. Both the new potting soil and the compost will help keep the mix from compacting, in addition to providing nutrients that plants require.


In this article, we covered the various ways one can dispose of old potting soil. We also discuss the various ways to reuse it.


What are the Benefits of Using Old Potting Soil?

Despite its lack of nutrients, old potting compost contains perlite nuggets, humus threads, and a small number of weed seeds.

As a result, it is a great way to protect newly planted carrots, beets, and other slow-growing seeds.

When moles, dogs, or other animals make holes in the lawn that need to be filled and repaired, leftover potting soil is also useful to have on hand.

For sowing fresh grass, potting soil is far superior to normal earth. When grass seed is placed in potting soil, it usually grows nicely with minimal weeds.

The benefits to the environment and your money are maybe the finest parts of upcycling potting soil. Not only are you preventing unnecessary waste, but you are also saving money.

Of course, soil recycling is not always the best option. When considering if this procedure is best for your garden, keep the following factors in mind.


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