Where to Recycle Your Post-Halloween Pumpkin in San Diego

The 3rd annual Pumpkin Composting Event takes place Monday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at two locations in Clairemont and Mira Mesa

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Has your Halloween pumpkin seen better days? If so, it’s probably time to get rid of it and San Diegans can do so in a safe, easy way at a pumpkin recycling event.

San Diego City Councilmember Chris Cate (District 6) and the Environmental Services Department hosted the 3rd Annual Pumpkin Composting Event Monday at the North Clairemont Recreation Center located at 4421 Bannock Ave. and at the Mira Mesa Senior Center on Mira Mesa Boulevard.

 The event began at 7 a.m. and would wrap up at 5 p.m. at both locations in Clairemont and Mira Mesa.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, California is one of the top pumpkin-producing states. The average pumpkin weighs 13 pounds.

According to Cate’s office, composting comes with many benefits for the environment. The local event is a way for San Diegans to do their part – and keep pumpkins out of the Miramar Greenery landfill, which processes over 100,000 tons of wood, yard waste, and food scraps annually into mulch, compost and wood chips.

“This is important because we have the landfill in our district and we’re doing everything we can to extend the life of the landfill,” Cate told NBC 7. “So, anything that we can do to recycle and remove material out of the landfill is something we’re going to want to promote, and pumpkins is one of them. Instead of having those pumpkins end up in our landfill, let’s recycle them.”

All pumpkins brought to the event must be clean and unpainted, with no candles, trash or décor inside, Cate said.

The councilmember said the composted pumpkins would get a “new life” as composted material and San Diegans would be given access to the mulch – perhaps for their yards – for free.

The City of San Diego’s Zero Waste Plan lays out a strategy to divert 100 percent of trash collected in the City by 2040. Cate said this pumpkin recycling event is another way for the city to reach that goal.

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