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‘Really satisfying’: 3rd annual Pumpkin Drop encourages Winnipeggers to compost

Another Halloween has passed, which means its time to get rid of that rotting jack-o-lantern out on your front step.

Compost Winnipeg and the Green Action Centre were encouraging Winnipeggers to do just that at CF Polo Park Saturday afternoon.

“I love splattering pumpkins, because it’s really satisfying,” said Owen, one of the many kids taking part with their families in the third annual Pumpkin Drop. “Sometimes their faces just crack off, and it’s really satisfying!”

The event encourages people to bring their leftover pumpkins and carved jack-o-lanterns from this past Halloween, and put them to further use after the holiday. Anyone who brought a pumpkin was invited to throw it off the second level of the CF Polo Park parkade into Compost Winnipeg’s collection truck.

Karrie Blackburn with the organization said the Pumpkin Drop has grown every year.

“Last year we received about 6,500 pumpkins, and already today we’ve seen around 500 pumpkins, and we’re in the first hour,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn explained that any whole or “food-worthy” pumpkins they receive are donated to the Little Red Barn Micro Sanctuary, which cares for a variety of rescued farm animals previously slated for slaughter.

“And any pumpkins that are maybe a little more sad, or a jack-o-lantern that’s become tired, we are composting those over at the Prairie Green Landfill at our compost facility there,” she said.

The Pumpkin Drop event aims to bring awareness to the hierarchy of food waste and reducing the amount of organics going into the landfill. Blackburn said the organic materials thrown in our landfills produce large amounts of harmful methane gas.

“It’s a great way to cut down on our emissions through itty bitty tasks like composting,” said Blackburn, adding that around 40 to 50 per cent of household trash is compostable.

Tyrone Penner was dumping pumpkins with his wife and kids, “Being able to put them back in the recycling system and have them be food for livestock and that kind of thing is really important,” Penner said.

Blackburn said the best reason to participate in the Pumpkin Drop is because it’s fun.

“Who doesn’t want to drop a pumpkin off a roof?” she said.

Compost Winnipeg said they received 1,650 pumpkins Saturday from 729 visitors. Further donations are being accepted at four drop-off location across the city. Pumpkins can be left in collection bins at 2255 King Edward Street, 220 Antrim Road, 255 Hamilton Avenue, and 1188 Dakota Street.

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