🎃Union County residents may recycle their old pumpkins after Halloween

🎃The Pumpkin Recycling Program has expanded to more sites this year

🎃Pumpkins will be collected through most of November

If you live in Union County and have no idea what to do with that Jack o’ Lantern after Halloween, here’s an idea.

Residents can put their Jack o’ Lanterns to good use after Halloween by participating in the Pumpkin Recycling Program, coordinated by the Union County Board of County Commissioners and the Union County Bureau of Recycling and Planning.

Fall Harvest Pumpkin Patch with ripe Pumpkins

What is the program about?

After being a bit hit for the last few years, the Pumpkin Recycling Program returns this year, bigger and better with more towns participating.

From Tuesday, Nov. 1 through Monday, Nov. 27, pumpkins will be collected by municipal departments of public works and brought to an organic waste recycler in Elizabeth, where they will be transformed into green energy.

“By recycling your pumpkins, you are not only promoting a greener environment but also contributing to a brighter, more sustainable future by reducing food waste and transforming it into clean, green energy,” said Union County Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados.

This year there will be six municipal locations available where residents can drop off pumpkins, versus the three in previous years. Residents from any municipality in Union County can use any of the following locations, regardless of their hometown.

Scary faces of Halloween pumpkin isolated on black background

Participating towns

⚫ 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)

⚫2 Donaldson Place in Linden (the municipal recycling yard)

⚫-401 Sheridan Avenue in Kenilworth (the Kenilworth Public Works complex)

⚫-95 Rock Avenue in Plainfield (the Plainfield Transfer Station)

The pumpkin recycling program will be open in each location Nov. 1 – 27 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Best NJ family fall fun, pumpkin picking NJ, New Jersey fall
(Erin Vogt, Townsquare Media NJ)

What will be accepted?

Only pumpkins will be accepted at these six locations. All candles and decorations must be removed.

halloween funny pumpkin with autumn harvest

What happens to the recycled pumpkins?

The pumpkins will be sent to a waste recycling center in Elizabeth, which is operated by the firm Waste Management. The company’s proprietary recycling system converts food waste into organic slurry, which is used to increase the output of biogas (gaseous renewable energy source) and other renewable products at municipal wastewater treatment plants.

Food waste is a global carbon that contributes to excess greenhouse emissions. Each year in the U.S., 119 billion pounds of food is wasted. Traditionally, food waste is sent to landfills or burned n waste-to-energy facilities. These new organic recycling systems provide a more sustainable way to manage food waste.

For more information about Union County’s recycling programs, visit here.

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