The Great Pumpkins Dropoff Returns!

We collected 6000 pounds of pumpkins!

pumpkins & bins in park

Now the ones you’ve kept for Thanksgiving can be given a good home too as we turn them into Pumpkin Spice Compost!

Great Pumpkin Dropoff #2
Friday-Sunday, November 27-29
Truxtun Park (near the skateboard park)
watch for directional signs

sad jack-o-lantern

We gave those Halloween jack-o-lanterns and pumpkins a dignified demise, back to the Earth, November 6-8 when Annapolis Green partnered with the City of Annapolis to collect and compost fall pumpkins that had outlived their decorative usefulness. Instead of putting unwanted pumpkins in the trash and condemning them to the landfill, we gave the community a way to dispose of them responsibly by bringing them to the Great Pumpkin Dropoff at Truxtun Park. And did the community respond!

The response was incredible! We had funny and gnarly jack-0-lanterns, rotten pumpkins, and whole pumpkins of all sizes. Wow, 6000 pounds… three tons of fruit (yes it is a fruit, not a vegetable)!

We collected them in ten 64-gallon totes, 11 32-gallon totes and many more that did not fit in the containers (sadly, we had to put those in plastic bags to keep the wildlife from getting into them and making a mess in the park). They came from all over the area. Some people even collected them for their entire neighborhood and brought them to us.

The City is charged $53.53/ton for waste removal to the landfill. So, while the four days of composting only saved the City $160.59 in terms of dollars, the project demonstrated that if the City had year-round composting of all types of compostable materials the savings would be significant AND the environmental benefits would too.

We brought this project to the City of Annapolis and thank Mayor Gavin Buckley, City Manager David Jarrell, Deputy City Manager for Resilience and Sustainability Jacqueline Guild, and Director of the Department of Recreation and Parks Archie J. Trader III for their support of this initiative.

 pumpkins in bin

little boy & mom with pumpkins  little girl & pumpkin

Next spring those nutritious pumpkins will have been turned into fantastic compost for your spring garden… Pumpkin Spice Compost!

pumpkin spice compostWe’ll have pre-ordering for Pumpkin Spice Compost set up soon — just in time for holiday gifting for the gardener in your life.

The Great Pumpkin Dropoff is part of nonprofit Annapolis Green’s Here We Grow program to encourage home gardeners to grow food with flowers with the natural soil amendment of compost rather than synthetic fertilizers and without pesticides.

The pumpkins will be turned into compost by Veteran Compost, Maryland’s only licensed compost farm and a Founding One Hundred supporter of Annapolis Green. Residents will be able to pre-order the compost as a holiday gift from Annapolis Green along with related gardening products.

Anne Arundel County is also composting pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns. Check out its Recycling and Waste Reduction Division Facebook page for details and other good recycling info.

A Final Note About Food & Food Composting

anne arundel food bank

In case you are thinking about whether we are wasting food, we had that on our minds too. However, it turns out that the Howden pumpkin, and other varieties grown primarily for decorative purposes, just aren’t that good for eating. Have a look at this story from NPR and this story from HuffPost. Composting, rather than trashing, them is the best way to dispose of the majority of the pumpkins we received. They will go back to the Earth and help make new pumpkins that may be planted next year. But, here’s news: We’ve made arrangements with the Anne Arundel Food Bank to donate the small “pie pumpkins” we collect after Thanksgiving to their effort!

Check out our Great Pumpkin Dropoff poem by Lynne Forsman:

Call me pumpkin or jack-0-lantern,
And whichever the case,
After I’ve been carved and illuminated,
It’s a proper end I hope to face.

At this time of year,
I make harvest hearts sing.
Pumpkin -orange everywhere,
And Pumpkin spice EVERYTHING!

Yet after my Halloween fun,
Give me a dignified demise
If you don’t bake me and eat me,
Respectfully dispose of me, whatever the size.

Thanks to my friends at Annapolis Green,
I’m hoping for the most…
To comeback and nourish your garden,
As Pumpkin Spice Compost!



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