Smashed pumpkin

Local food waste warriors, CompostNow and Asheville GreenWorks, have teamed up to fight Halloween pumpkin waste.

They will be hosting a community event called “Smash Don’t Trash” on Sunday, Nov. 4 from noon to 4 p.m. at New Belgium Brewing. Community members are encouraged to bring their old pumpkins to be composted rather than landfilled.

The event will host pumpkin smashing stations, kid-friendly activities, and music on the spacious lawn at New Belgium Brewery. You can also get a $1 off the Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin beer while supplies last. All compost created from “Smash Don’t Trash” will be shared with Sand Hill Community Garden and Asheville GreenWork’s Sand Hill Orchard and Nursery.

The numbers surrounding discarded pumpkins during the Halloween season can give even the bravest person a scare.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, most of the 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins produced in the U.S. end up in the landfill. These discarded pumpkins add to the more than 254 million tons of municipal solid waste produced in the U.S. every year.

Trashed pumpkins, like other food waste sent to the landfill, will emit methane, a greenhouse gas 25x more potent than CO2. But, organizations like CompostNow and Asheville GreenWorks believe that the nutrients found in pumpkins and other food scraps should be used to build healthy soil rather than sit in the landfill.

CompostNow is a local collection service who empowers community members and businesses to divert their compostables from the landfill, and, instead, use those nutrients to build healthy soil in the community. To date, their members have diverted over 6 million pounds of compostables from the landfill. 

Asheville GreenWorks is another player in the waste reduction ecosystem. Their mission is to inspire, equip and mobilize individuals and communities to take care of the places we love to live. 

“Smash Don’t Trash” is a free, family-friendly event. All compostables will be processed by Danny’s Dumpster, a family-owned hauling and processing business in Asheville. Can’t make the event? There will be a drop-off dumpster on Craven Street in front of the brewery all weekend long available for you to compost your pumpkin.

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