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How to Green Up your Vermont Jack-o’-Lantern

Jack-o'-lanterns made of carved pumpkins left at curbside after Halloween. Photo by MK2010. CC BY-SA 3.0.

Jack-o’-lanterns made of carved pumpkins left at curbside after Halloween. Photo by MK2010. CC BY-SA 3.0.

By Clare Innes

Even the ghoul-iest Jack-o’-Lantern deserves a proper burial when Halloween is over. Just keep a few things in mind when you’re decorating it so you can compost it in the yard debris pile at any CSWD Drop-Off Center or Green Mountain Compost, rather than tossing it into the trash where it will be lost forever in a landfill:

1. Please don’t paint your pumpkin! Paint contaminates compost. If you use paint, the pumpkin can’t be composted and has to be thrown in the trash when the holiday is over.

2. Please pull out the candles, leftover wax, decorations, and anything that didn’t come from Mother Nature’s own, spooky self. Most candles are made from petroleum products, which are considered contamination. Use beeswax candles and your pumpkin is fine, because beeswax candles DO break down into natural elements.

Note: If you have 10 or more compostable pumpkins, please bring them to Green Mountain Compost in Williston and stop in at the office to find out where to unload them.

What happens to all those pumpkins you bring to CSWD Drop-Off Centers and Green Mountain Compost? We turn them into the rich, dark soil that next year’s pumpkin crop will sink its roots into and grow big and plump in time for next Halloween!

Source: Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) Newsflash, October, 2015. 802.872.8111 • CSWD.NET • cinnes@cswd.net

Green Mountain Compost’s web site is greenmountaincompost.com.

The CSWD Drop-Off Center’s web site can be visited at bit.ly/CSWD-drop-off-center.

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