Turn your household into a pumpkin recycling station

Pumpkin recycling station photo
CC BY 2.0 Jeremy Marin & Jim Reynolds

From a mountain of heirloom pumpkins to a vandalized pumpkin patch, TreeHugger has posted its fair share of pumpkin-related news over the years.

But for a site so keen on composting, we've been relatively silent on the topic of disposing of your jack-o-lanterns responsibly. Just like recycling christmas trees, it would make sense to have a recycling plan in place.

Unfortunately, says Jeremy Marin over at Arlington HEET, many local authorities won't let you put pumpkins in your yard waste bin. Instead, suggests Marin, keen gardeners should step up and offer to be the pumpkin recycling station for their neighborhood:

So what if after the holiday, the neighborhood pumpkins all came to you for composting, perfect to mix with the fallen leaves? (Leaves are carbon-rich, or “browns”. Pumpkins are nitrogen-rich, or “green”. You need both for rich compost.)

This Halloween put up a sign telling visitors that after the holiday you’ll take their pumpkins, with certain limitations. You’ll be building great compost, saving the town money, and letting the kids know that their “used pumpkins” will replenish the yard or garden.

Smashing the pumpkins with a shovel or something else will help them decompose much faster and is highly recommended. You can even lay out a tarp and have neighborhood kids crush them (stomping, sticks, whatever) and serve cider, turning it into a neighborhood event, if you’re ambitious.

Jeremy even made a downloadable pumpkin recycling flyer to make life easy for you.

Turn your household into a pumpkin recycling station
Come November, there will be an awful lot of pumpkins with no place to go. Could you help find them a good home?

Related Content on Treehugger.com