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Don’t worry, we’re not screaming about any jump-scares. The scariest thing about Halloween isn’t the horror movies, the decorations, or even the haunting SoCal heat. No, true fear may be found in the humble pumpkin.
What, So Jack-o’-Lanterns Are Scary Now?
Not quite. The truth is that pumpkins are a huge contributor to both Halloween spirit and environmental waste. According to Waste Management, the United States produced over 1.4 billion pounds of pumpkins in 2021 alone. Now that’s scary. These frightening fruits are carved, carefully placed, then unceremoniously left to rot in community trash bins. Eventually, they find their way into landfills.
There are a couple issues that could impact your community. The first is mess. Between mushy guts and carving scraps, pumpkins are a surefire way to fill up your garbage bins and muck up your trash enclosures. They leave enclosures sticky and hard to clean without professional help.
The second is disposal. The U.S. Department of Energy estimated that most of pumpkins produced in the United States end up in landfills. That means billions of pounds of pumpkins get lost in layers of trash. Without oxygen or sunlight to aid in the decomposition, these rotting Halloween corpses produce methane. This greenhouse gas contributes 20 times more to climate change than carbon dioxide.
You might be saying to yourself that global issues are just that – global. But individuals can make an impact too, especially those who manage communities and have some influence over where waste ends up. Here are some helpful tips this spooky season to avoid mess and dispose responsibly:
Encourage Responsible Disposal
California state government has mandated responsible organic waste disposal in recent bills. Community managers will have up to two years to follow local guidelines, but the sooner the better. That way, you can encourage residents to dispose of organic waste, like pumpkin carcasses, in the organic waste bin. (Your trash bins will appreciate not having sticky pumpkin guts in them, too.)
Feel free to download, print and post our pumpkin disposal flyer. This is a great way of gently reminding your residents to dispose in the proper bins.
Don’t Be Spooked! Have Someone Take Care of the Mess
We understand that, as community managers, there are a million things that demand your attention. If half-decomposed pumpkins don’t make it into organic bins and end up on enclosure floors, there are services ready to help you.
Our routine maintenance and special services like Enclosure Pressure Washing ensures that where you keep your trash doesn’t scare the residents. Leftover ick and smells can carry over from the enclosure to the rest of your community. Maintaining these enclosures improves your community’s overall appearance and sanitation. After the stickiness of leftover pumpkins and the last dredges of California heat, your current and future residents will appreciate your dedication to (ghost)busting the mess.
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