Sunshine Coast residents are being reminded to compost — not trash — their pumpkins after Halloween.
The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) expects thousands of households to use pumpkins this year and is offering up some information about what can happen if the jack o’lanterns are not disposed of properly.
“Organic waste is the largest group of materials that can be diverted from the waste stream,” said Marina Stjepovic, SCRD sustainability and education coordinator. “Pumpkins tossed in the trash will end up rotting in the landfill where they will contribute to the generation of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that causes global warming.”
Organic waste consists of food waste, compostable paper products, plant materials and yard waste, and makes up 41 per cent of waste disposed in local landfills. Residential and commercial organic waste represents an estimated 5,400 tonnes of the waste disposed on the Sunshine Coast.
Ideas for what you can do with your jack o’lantern after Halloween include:
• Eat them! Like squash, pumpkin is edible and tasty — and the seeds can also be roasted.
• Compost them. Chop your pumpkin into pieces and place them in your backyard composter.
• Bury them. Return them to the soil by digging a deep hole in your garden to prevent attracting wildlife.
• Drop them off at commercial composters: Direct Disposal, 6041 Sechelt Inlet Road, Sechlet, or Salish Soils, 5800 Black Bear Road, Sechelt.
“We are calling on all Sunshine Coast residents to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much of their waste as possible,” added SCRD board chair Garry Nohr. “Our goal is to increase the solid waste diversion rate at our landfills from 50 to at least 65 per cent by 2016.”