Pumpkin collection is an annual effort by communities in Illinois to divert pumpkins from landfills by providing locations for residents to drop-off pumpkins to be composted.
The West Chicago Environmental Commission and the Green Disciples of the First United Methodist Church of West Chicago, and S.C.A.R.C.E, have teamed up again in 2020 to collect pumpkins for composting in a safe, socially- distanced way.
According to organizers, the pumpkin collection will be set up as a drive-through at the First United Methodist Church parking lot at 643 East Washington Street, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 7, 2020. People will be able to drive through, smash their pumpkins in the dumpster, or drop them off and leave. Volunteers will be on hand, and everyone should wear a mask.
Pumpkins can be painted, but need to be free of yarn and other items that are not compostable. All candle holders need to be removed prior to composting.
Decomposing organics make landfills the third largest producers of methane gas. About two-thirds of landfill waste contains biodegradable organic matter from households, businesses, and industries. As this material decomposes, it releases methane gas. As a potent greenhouse gas, methane traps up to 20 times more heat in the atmosphere as compared with carbon dioxide. Reducing methane reduces greenhouse gas.
Composting returns nutrients and water back to the soil – pumpkins are nutrient rich. They are ninety-percent water, making pumpkins good for our soil, but bad for our landfills.
Most of the pumpkins processed in the United States are grown in Illinois. Composting pumpkins will keep the water and nutrients here where they are grown.
Remind relatives, neighbors, and friends not to throw pumpkins in the trash, but to compost them in this smash.