SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — While carving pumpkins is an annual tradition for Siouxlanders during Halloween, they can also help the environment once they’re ready to get rid of their jack o’lanterns.
Shawn Tabke is the horticulture coordinator at the Iowa State Extension office. He says while old pumpkins may end up in the trash can after Halloween, it’s not good for the environment.
“The soil needs recharge all the time and so by returning organic matter back into the soil, you’re recharging the soil for future crops,” Tabke said. “The flip side of that is that when we put it in a landfill, none of that gets returned and so it’s really important for the earth to return it back.”
Tabke says composting those pumpkins is helpful because those pumpkins don’t do any good in a landfill.
“That way they can decompose and you can return that organic matter into the soil and both not only improve the soil humus and organic matter, but it adds fertility as well, making other plants grow,” Tabke said.
Plants aren’t the only beneficiaries from old pumpkins. Bentlee Perichard says his family uses old pumpkins to help animals.
“It’s nice to feed the pumpkins and not waste money because it’s nice to feed animals so they don’t starve,” Perichard said.
Siouxlanders can bring their old pumpkins to the Citizen’s Convenience Center to be composted.