Environmentally friendly pumpkin disposal

Do you have pumpkins or decorative fall squash/gourds that you are unsure what to do with once the season is over? Please consider disposing of them in an environmentally friendly way, rather than putting them into your trash bound for the landfill.

If you have a jack-o-lantern (carved pumpkin), it will start to shrivel much sooner than whole pumpkins. To easily dispose of these, you can either leave it as-is in your backyard for animals to munch on, or cut it up and put the pieces in your yard for deer and squirrels to eat. They love pumpkin! If you have a whole pumpkin, you can do the same thing, but do try to cut it up a little first to give the animals a head start.

Feeding pumpkins to wildlife is a wonderful option. Make sure to scatter the pieces far from the house. Also, please refrain from leaving rotting pumpkin out for animals to eat. 

Another option is to compost your pumpkins. Remember, Bay Village now has a compost drop-off location serviced by Rust Belt Riders. You can sign up at bayvillagegreenteam.org under “Green Your Waste” and then “Drop-Off Food Waste Composting.” If you are part of this program, simply bring your pumpkins and squash there! If you compost in your backyard, you can put the pumpkins in it – remember to cut them up if you want it to break down a little more quickly.

And finally, if you do not compost either with Rust Belt Riders or in your backyard, you can still easily compost your pumpkins. Simply dig a space in your garden bed, place the whole pumpkin or pumpkin pieces in the hole, and cover it back up. Voila! You have composted your pumpkins.

Keeping food out of the landfill is important. When food breaks down anaerobically in the landfill, it releases methane which is a large contributor to climate change. Composting or feeding the pumpkins and squash to local wildlife is a MUCH better option and is simple to do! 

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Volume 13, Issue 21, Posted 10:24 AM, 11.02.2021