Compost Your Pumpkin

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Compost Your Pumpkin
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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.

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a-1571343900 Nov 01, 2018 02:44 PM
Compost Your Pumpkin

Maybe Santa Barbara could have a yearly pumpkin collection, as is done with Xmas trees. I don't see why the pumpkins can't be added to City and County composting facilities. As for the pumpkins being "too wet," that's just silly. Nothing is wetter than Oxalis pes-caprae (aka "Sourgrass") added to one's green waste, especially if the sourgrass weeds have been yanked out after a rain.

a-1571343900 Nov 02, 2018 09:19 PM
Compost Your Pumpkin

Except that THOUSANDS of pumpkins would be discarded in a 1-2 week period. Would make for an interesting batch of compost. I'd imagine it would grow its own squash...

a-1571343900 Oct 31, 2018 11:51 PM
Compost Your Pumpkin

This is funny. I was telling a friend yesterday how, several years ago, I had two gigantic pumpkins sitting in one corner of my yard and it took FOREVER for those pumpkins to decompose. Someone had given me these behemoth "squashes" and they sure were cool. I enjoyed watching them molder away. I know a lot of insects sure had fun. As others have said, even if you're in an apartment----get out your shovel or hand trowel or biggest spoon, dig a hole, break up the pumpkin and bury it. Give back to the Earth. (And who on EARTH has a compost bin that's "too small" to accommodate a pumpkin? Break up the pumpkin and put it in a little at a time.)

mm1970 Nov 01, 2018 08:51 AM
Compost Your Pumpkin

my compost bin is barely big enough for all of the produce scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds that my family produces on a weekly basis already. It's a two-sider, and we always have to switch sides again back to the first side before it has fully composted. Probably should get a second one.

a-1571343900 Oct 31, 2018 10:04 PM
Compost Your Pumpkin

SANTA BARBARA NEEDS CURBSIDE COMPOSTING! It is in so many communities ALL OVER THE COUNTRY AND BEYOND- yet the “birthplace of Earth Day “ can’t seem to make it happen in their own city. The time is NOW. Too many of us can’t compost in our own yard for various, legitimate reasons. Curbside compost must happen now!

OICU812 Oct 31, 2018 02:46 PM
Compost Your Pumpkin

Oh my, I've been tossing them in my green waste pick-up for many years - oops!!

a-1571343900 Oct 31, 2018 01:53 PM
Compost Your Pumpkin

"This loop starts when grass, leaves, flowers, and other yard materials are discarded into this bin (no pumpkins please!). "

a-1571343900 Oct 31, 2018 11:23 AM
Compost Your Pumpkin

i think it would be wise for Santa Barbara to add compost bins to their recycle program. many communities do. I was unaware that pumpkins could not go in green can. Not everyone has a yard for a compost pile. community compost bins is a great idea!

Flicka Oct 31, 2018 10:51 AM
Compost Your Pumpkin

It's okay to throw in the street if it's your own pumpkin. One year my jack 'o lanterns were smashed in the street by ??, not cool. If you live in an apartment do what the article said, put in yard waste bin for the city to pick up. For homes with yards, break up and bury in the yard if it won't fit your compost bin.

a-1571343900 Oct 31, 2018 01:52 PM
Compost Your Pumpkin

NO pumpkins in green cans for yard waste! They're too wet.

mm1970 Oct 31, 2018 10:08 AM
Compost Your Pumpkin

Please compost, but don't use the green waste? Not 100% helpful. Are there any public compost bins? We have a compost bin, but it's not big enough for our pumpkin.

a-1571343900 Oct 31, 2018 10:35 AM
Compost Your Pumpkin

And, if you live in an apartment?

Yeti Oct 31, 2018 09:01 AM
Compost Your Pumpkin

Is throwing them in the street ok? That is a lot more fun and they can still compost.

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