CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Pumpkins are a symbol of fall and used during Halloween, but what happens when the celebrations are over?
“In the U.S. alone they estimate every year 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins go to the landfill just from Halloween,” NewTerra Compost Co-Founder Normand Lavoie said.
NewTerra Compost is working with Hixson High School and UTC to collect those pumpkins you don’t want.
Lavoie said folks can drop off unwanted pumpkins at the Hixson High School greenhouses or UTC academic services office.
“Our goal is to raise awareness. By working with students at both schools, we hope that they understand that their decisions made locally, make a difference globally for global warming,” Lavoie said.
At the end of the week, they’ll take the pumpkins to area farms to use as chicken food and whatever can’t be used to feed the animals, they’ll use to make soil.
“The soil is going to take about 6 months for us to process it, and after that it’s going to go to gardeners and farmers around the Chattanooga community,” Lavoie said.
It’s a way to keep pumpkins out of the landfill.
“When food goes to the landfill, it actually creates methane and that’s the number three source of greenhouse admissions in the United States,” Lavoie said
Lavoie also added that Tennessee is above average, per capita, in waste sent to the landfill.
“Per person and per home we’re sending more waste every day to the landfill,” he said.
Lavoie said they’ll be collecting pumpkins all this week.