In many American households, it is a fall tradition to decorate with festive gourds and pumpkins. But what happens to all those Jack-o-Lanterns and Autumn Wings once they begin to rot? For some of us, tossing those squishy squash out in the woods is an easy choice -- but for many members in the MSU community, this isn't an option. That's why, this year, SSRC held the inaugural pumpkin and gourd collection dubbed "The Great Pumpkin Plop."
During the week after Halloween, our Drop-Off Center had an additional bin for the public to 'plop' offtheir unwanted pumpkins for composting by the Department of Horticulture. In all, SSRC collected a whopping 6,060 pounds of the fleshy squirrel delights!
Events like these are all part of SSRC's mission to divert waste away from landfills. Luckily for us, we have innovative and passionate staff who come up with novel ideas on how to accomplish this goal. The Great Pumpkin Plop was the brainchild* of a student on the SSRC Recycling Outreach Team (ROT), who is an avid composter herself. "Organic waste is especially important in this mission, as organic waste releases methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as it anaerobically decomposes in landfills," said ROT student Lea Dyga. "So, plopping your pumpkins for compost not only helps us create valuable fertilizer but also combat climate change."
*We have another creative staff member, Dave Smith, Recycling Coordinator, to thank for the event's name. Well, really, it was he and Charlie Brown.