Thanks to the efforts of the West Chicago Environmental Commission, S.C.A.R.C.E, and the Green Disciples of the First United Methodist Church, at least two tons of pumpkins were collected for composting – double that of last year – on Saturday, November 2, 2019.
A dumpster, provided free of charge by Groot Industries for the event, increasingly filled throughout the course of the event, which was scheduled from 9:00 a.m. – noon.
According to Judith Horsley, member of the Green Disciples and one of the coordinators of the event, this third-year was by far the best, with more cars pulling up to smash their pumpkins. Contributing to the totals collected this year was the Warrenville Park District, which contacted Horsely the week of the event to see if their own pumpkins collected the day before could be added.
Volunteers included Horsley and her husband Michael, County Board Member for the 6th District, Robert L. Larsen, and Brian Hendricks, coordinator of First United Methodist PADS (Public Action to Deliver Shelter).
All involved in the effort hope that each year sees an increase in resident participation and awareness for the importance of the composting effort.
Composting returns nutrients and water back to the soil, and pumpkins are nutrient rich. They are ninety-percent water making them good for our soil, but bad for our landfills.
According to S.C.A.R.C.E. ( School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education) decomposing organics makes 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, 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.