Comox Strathcona Waste Management offers suggestions for proper pumpkin disposal

Comox Strathcona Waste Management is reminding residents of the Comox Valley Regional District and the Strathcona Regional District to dispose of their pumpkins in an environmentally responsible manner this Halloween.

When a pumpkin ends up in the landfill it does not break down as it would in a compost pile. The pumpkins decompose without oxygen, producing leachate and methane gas which is harmful to the environment.

You can be part of the solution and keep your pumpkin out of the landfill by using one of the following options:

– Place your pumpkin on the curb within your yard waste or kitchen scraps container. Pumpkins will be collected during regular yard waste and/or organics scheduled pick-up days during the week of Nov. 5-9.

– Take a drive to Campbell River, for the 12th annual Pumpkin Smash event at Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex. This is a free, fun-filled family event which keeps thousands of kilograms of pumpkin out of our landfills. These smashed pumpkins will become compost instead of harmful waste. Participants are reminded to remove all objects such as wax, candles and tea lights from their pumpkins prior to smashing. Please note that pumpkins with spray paint will not be accepted for disposal.

The Pumpkin Smash takes place Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3-4, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Strathcona Gardens, 225 S. Dogwood, Campbell River.

The event is free, although donations to the BC Professional Fire Fighters Association Burn Fund are gladly accepted.

Other ways to dispose of pumpkins

There are some other ways that you can help keep your pumpkins out of the trash. Chop them up into thumb-sized pieces and put the pieces into a backyard composter. Or put pieces of pumpkin in a vermicomposting bin (a kitchen-based worm bin) that will yield nutrient-rich compost which can be used to grow next year’s pumpkins.

For more information on composting and other solid waste programs, visit www.cswm.ca/gardening

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