Take care of Jack when you’re done

Compost education centre in Campbell River is hosting the eighth annual Pumpkin Smash

The Comox Strathcona waste management (CSWM) service is encouraging residents to do the right thing with their carved pumpkin after Halloween.

Far too often, pumpkins are bagged, tossed and carted off to local landfills.

However, there are some more environmentally-friendly options for where “Jack” can go on Nov. 1:

  • The CSWM compost education centre in Campbell River is hosting the eighth annual Pumpkin Smash in the parking lot of Strathcona Gardens recreation complex (225 South Dogwood Street) on Saturday, Nov. 1 and Sunday, Nov. 2 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on both days. This is a free, fun-filled family event which keeps thousands of kilograms of pumpkin – which aren’t being turned into pies or muffins – out of our landfills. These smashed pumpkins will be turned into compost instead of becoming a ghoulish waste Participants are reminded to remove all objects such as candles and tea lights from their pumpkins prior to smashing.
  • There are some other ways that you can help keep jack-o’-lanterns out of the trash. Chop them up into thumb-sized pieces and put the pieces into a backyard composter.

Or put pieces of pumpkin in a vermicompost bin – a kitchen-based worm bin.

This way you will get nutrient-rich compost that you can use to grow next year’s pumpkins.

When organic material such as pumpkins end up in the landfill they do not break down as they would in a compost pile. They decompose anaerobically, without oxygen, and produce leachate and methane gas.

Composting food waste is an easy way to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information on composting and other solid waste programs, visit  www.cswm.ca.

The Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) service is an extended function of the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and is responsible for two regional waste management centres that serve the Comox Valley and Campbell River, as well as a range of transfer stations and smaller waste-handling and recycling facilities for the electoral areas of the CVRD and the Strathcona Regional District.

The CSWM service manages over 100,000 tonnes of waste and recycled material and oversees a number of diversion and education programs.