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Halloween is 10 days away and beautifully-carved pumpkins are starting to pop up around town.
Once the calendar turns over to November, however, those pumpkins will be yesterday’s news and a lot of people will just instinctively toss them in the garbage.
But that’s not the best way to dispose of your Halloween jack-o-lantern, which actually has plenty of use beyond Oct. 31.
Rae Stewart, waste reduction facilitator with the RDCO, says that pumpkins are high in nitrogen and are an excellent add to your backyard compost bin.
“If you chop your pumpkin up into small pieces with some fall leaves, it will break down just that much faster,” she explains.
“Next spring you’ll have a great nutrient rich soil amendment to add to your flower beds or veggie patch.”
If you don’t compost, it’s better to put your pumpkin in your yard waste cart than your garbage can, as yard waste pickup season runs all the way until the end of December.
The RDCO also noted that if your pumpkin is still in good condition and free of debris or damage from the elements, they can be used in baking or soup making.
"Pumpkins when toasted or baked can be rich in potassium and protein," explained an RDCO release.
And one more Halloween tip: Candy wrappers can't do in the recycling cart, but they can be collected and returned to a recycling depot as part of the flexible packaging recycling program.
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