Compost Your Pumpkin
Source: Santa Barbara County Public Works
The Santa Barbara County Public Works Department encourages residents to compost their Halloween pumpkins rather than throwing them into the trash. Food scraps (including pumpkins) deposited at the landfill generate methane, but they can also be used to improve your landscape. Compost Program Specialist Sam Dickinson says, “When you compost this material in your own backyard, you divert organics from landfills and create a nutrient-rich soil amendment that is great for your garden.”
If you still need a contained way to compost in your own backyard, the county offers composting bins at wholesale prices at three locations:
- South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station at 4430 Calle Real in Santa Barbara
- North County Public Works Building at 620 West Foster Road in Orcutt
- Santa Ynez Valley Recycling and Transfer Station at 4004 Foxen Canyon Road in Los Olivos
Using your green waste recycling bin is another great way to help complete the organics loop. This loop starts when grass, leaves, flowers, and other yard materials are discarded into this bin (no pumpkins please!). These materials are collected and chipped into mulch, which is then distributed to local residents and farmers. Mulch Program Coordinator Joey Costa says, “The main benefit of mulching is water conservation and nutrient input. Returning this mulch to the soil completes the organics loop, with many positive impacts for any garden.” Residents can get “load your own” mulch for free at the South Coast Recycling and Transfer Station and the Santa Ynez Valley Recycling and Transfer Station. For details, visit www.LessIsMore.org/Mulch or call (805) 681-4981 in South County or (805) 686-5084 in North County.
For more information about the Backyard Composting Program and composing at home, visit the County’s recycling website, www.LessIsMore.org/Compost or call (805) 882-3618.