Once Halloween wraps up, what do you do with your jack o’ lanterns?

If you’re a Union County resident, those pumpkins with silly grins and spooky expressions can be put to good use with the county’s Pumpkin Recycling Program.

It returns this November after it was a smash hit last year.

The program is coordinated by Union County and municipal partners. The pumpkins will be sent to an organic waste recycling facility in Elizabeth and transformed into green energy.

Traditionally, food waste is sent to landfills or burned in waste-to-energy facilities. Food waste has been a global problem that contributes to excess greenhouse gas emissions while burdening local governments with waste disposal costs.

“The pumpkin recycling program is an easy, convenient way for Union County residents to support the renewable energy industry in our community,” Union County Board of  Commissioners Chairwoman Rebecca Williams said.

Three locations will be available for residents to drop off their pumpkins. It doesn’t matter what municipality you live in in the county. Residents can utilize any of these locations.

Union County Pumpkin Recycling Program (Photo Credit: Union County)
Union County Pumpkin Recycling Program (Photo Credit: Union County)

The drop-off locations:

101 Berkeley Avenue in Berkeley Heights (the Berkeley Heights Department of Public Works, next to the new Municipal Complex)

523 Trenton Avenue in Elizabeth (the Elizabeth Municipal Recycling Yard)

1300 Lamberts Mill Road in Westfield (the Westfield Conservation Center)

Residents can bring their pumpkins to any of these three locations between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. beginning Nov. 1.

The pumpkin recycling program will run every weekday, Monday through Friday (except holidays) until Monday, Nov. 28.

Residents can bring their program to any of three designated recycling locations between the hours

Only pumpkins will be accepted. Candles and decorations must be removed.

Quick links to all Union County environmental programs can be found here.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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