According to the Department of Agriculture almost 2 billion pounds of pumpkins are grown annually in the US. Sadly, most of those pumpkins end up in landfills or at trash incinerators. Make an effort this year to recycle your pumpkin and reduce the amount of waste getting disposed. Here are some ideas of what to do when you are done with your pumpkin:
1. Compost it at home! If you have a compost bin at home, you can put your pumpkin in it and it will turn into glorious compost! Its best to cut it into smaller pieces so it can compost quicker.
2. If you don't have a compost bin at home, you can bring all your old pumpkins to the Recycling Center and dispose of them with the food scraps. The pumpkins will be taken to the anaerobic digester where it will be turned into biofuel and compost. Pumpkins can go in the bin as they are; no need to cut them up!
3. If you have a yard and some woods, you can put the pumpkin out for a tasty treat for wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation says woodland creatures love pumpkins to snack on and soon enough it will disappear. Again, it is helpful to cut the pumpkins so the pieces are smaller, but often animals will nibble on the whole pumpkin as it gets softer.
4. If you painted your pumpkin, we don't recommend any of these options. Carve it up and use the seeds, but then the outside will have to go in the trash.