By Noelle Nichols ’18
Composting your pumpkins just got a whole lot easier with the help of Organix Green Industries.
Instead of throwing your pumpkins away, Ontario County officials are urging residents to drop off their old pumpkins at designated vermicomposting collection stations to avoid a mass amount of pumpkins ending up in the Ontario County landfill.
Organix Green Industries is a large-scale vermicomposting facility in Seneca Castle, N.Y., who will be taking the collected pumpkins to add to their vermicomposting operation.
Vermicomposting is the process of using worms to break-down organic waste into nutrient-rich fertilizer.
Various materials can be vermicomposted, such as food scraps, paper products, as well as other compostable materials, according to the Organix Facebook page.
Jacob Fox, CEO of Organix Green Industries and 2016 Hobart College graduate, finds that the production of pumpkins strictly for Halloween decorations is very problematic.
“Many pumpkins are bred to not be eaten but rather just for Halloween purposes, so since they are not being eaten use in any way other than decoration, the maximum amount of food waste is present,” wrote Fox via email.
Fox then stressed the importance of vermicomposting the pumpkins versus sending them to the landfill.
“Once they are in landfills, they biodegrade and release methane which is a greenhouse gas 23 times more potent than CO2,” wrote Fox. “In equivalency, about 700 pounds of pumpkins in the landfill will release as much greenhouse gas as you would driving an average car from Geneva to N.Y.C. and back.”
The Organix Green Industries facility has 100 worm trenches which can process roughly 2,000 tons of biodegradable waste every year, according to the Organix Facebook page.
With all this space, Organix Green Industries was eager to work with Ontario County to collect unwanted pumpkins left over from the Halloween season.
There will be three locations, each on a separate date, in which people can drop off their pumpkins from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to the Finger Lakes Times article:
- Nov. 4 at the Victor Transfer Station (670 Rawson Road, Building A, Victor, N.Y.)
- Nov. 11 at the Geneva Transfer Station (32 White Springs Road, Geneva, N.Y.)
- Nov. 18 at an Ontario County parking lot (on the corner of Ontario and Pleasant Streets, Canandaigua, N.Y.)