Compost Your Pumpkins This Halloween
October 25, 2017 4:00 PM
by Jonathan Ocon
Planning on decorating or carving a pumpkin this year but don’t know what to do with it after? Many individuals tend to just throw their pumpkin in the trash once the holiday has come and gone, but don’t trash your pumpkin this Halloween season: compost it!
Here’s how you can compost your pumpkin: No decorations or seeds! Also, remove all candles or wax still in the pumpkin, and cut off parts of the pumpkin that have been decorated with paint or glitter. The seeds inside the pumpkin can be roasted for consumption, so that those, too, do not go to waste. (If those seeds are left in the pumpkin before compositing, individual pumpkins may sprout the following year from the seeds in the compost.)
Green Organics Cart
You can place the pumpkin with no decorations or accessories in the Green Organics Cart, which you can obtain from the City of Santa Monica. Once it’s in the cart, you’re done!
Preparing for Compost
If you don’t have a compost bin at home, you can purchase a composting bin from Resource Recovery and Recycling, or you can create your compost in your backyard! Here’s how: Find a spot in your yard, dig a hole to place your smashed pumpkin in, and cover the pumpkin with dirt. Another option is to place the pumpkin over the soil, and cover it with leaves.
Now, let nature breakdown the pumpkin and place its nutrients in the soil. The pumpkin will break down in a few weeks, and the compost will be ready for use in gardens or for other planting! Composting reduces food waste, whether on Halloween or not, and it can help reduce the almost 40 percent of food wasted in the United States. By composting your pumpkin, you help reduce food waste and create compost that can be used in the future! (Compost bins can be purchased at the Resource Recovery and Recycling Division at 2500 Michigan Ave.) For questions or more information on obtaining a green organics cart or compost bin, contact the City of Santa Monica’s Resource Recovery and Recycling at 310.458.2223.