West Hartford

3.2 Tons Of Pumpkin Waste Recycled In West Hartford

The amount of pumpkins recycled through the town's composting program tripled since last year

Katherine Bruns

A man participates in West Hartford’s pumpkin composting program by bringing pumpkins from all over his neighborhood.

The town of West Hartford asked residents to step up and do their part to keep pumpkins out of landfills after Halloween, and the people delivered. More than 3.2 tons of pumpkin waste were recycled after Halloween through the town's composting program.

People brought their used-up pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns to a bin placed outside the Public Works Department. The town wanted pumpkins disposed of their because those pumpkins that end up in a landfill emit greenhouse gas.

All of the pumpkins are then brought to Quantum Biopower in Southingon, where they are turned into clean energy.

This is the fifth year for West Hartford's composting program. Last year, 1.3 tons were recycled. Now that number has tripled.

It's thanks to people like a man named Patrick. He has pickup truck, so he offered to bring all of his neighbor's old pumpkins to the bin.

“He must have had over 30, and he was pitch forking pumpkins off his pickup truck! He had a lot, so that was great," Kathy Bruns, West Hartford recycling program director, said. "Just going into the holiday season it’s a great time to think about food waste, composting, how to prevent the waste in the first place."

Every year, 1 billion pumpkins across the country end up in landfills.

Bruns urges residents to be conscious of waste over the holidays. For instance, Thanksgiving has wrapped up, and the Natural Resources Defense Fund reports that 200 million pounds of turkey are wasted after that holiday.