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Think outside the trash: Composting jack-o'-lantern pumpkins

Aaron Hiday with jack-o'-lantern on compost pile

This month, thousands of Michigan residents carved jack-o'-lanterns for Halloween, which means thousands of pumpkins will need to be disposed of.

Many will end up in the trash, once the festivities are over.

Aaron Hiday, of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, is the statewide composting coordinator for the State of Michigan. He encourages people to compost their pumpkins. This reduces the amount of waste in landfills and helps nourish soil.

Don't have a compost bin? Check with your local recycler for drop-off locations for yard waste to see if they accept pumpkins for composting. The Michigan Recycling Directory website lists locations that take food scraps. (Select the "Organics" tab and then click on "Food Scraps." Before taking your jack-o'-lantern there, be sure to verify with the location that they accept food scraps.

The handy Home Composting: Reap a Heap of Benefits info sheet provides more information. 

To learn more about composting, visit EGLE's composting website.

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