Here's what you can do with your pumpkins after Halloween

·3 min read

There's a proper place for those post-Halloween pumpkins now that spooky season is over.

Municipalities and businesses are encouraging residents to ensure their pumpkins are disposed of in the right spot and in a sustainable fashion.

The City of Toronto was set to host numerous pumpkin parades Monday, giving residents a chance to show off their carved creations for one last time at more than 35 parks across the city.

The pumpkins will then be picked up by city staff and processed with yard waste to create compost that can be used in city parks and gardens.

"This is a great opportunity to safely reconnect with your local community but also to check out the talented pumpkin carvers around the city," said Toronto Mayor John Tory.

The City of Brampton was set to host a similar annual pumpkin party at a public square on Monday evening, featuring live entertainment and giveaways. Residents were encouraged to put on their costumes and bring their pumpkins, which the city said it will compost after the event.

Across the Region of Peel, which Brampton is a part of, the municipality suggested residents put their pumpkins either directly in their green organic bins, in a paper yard waste bag, bushel basket, or a labelled open, rigid container – along with other yard waste – to be set outside for collection.

The municipality said that will keep the pumpkins out of landfills and will help create compost that can be used in gardens.

In the Region of Waterloo, residents were reminded that pumpkins should be disposed of through the yard waste program, or via their green bin, but painted pumpkins should go in the garbage.

Meanwhile, some businesses are looking to give post-Halloween pumpkins a new life – as animal feed.

Wagner Orchards and Estate Winery in Tecumseh, Ont., asked people to drop off their pumpkins in front of the business' bakery to be enjoyed by cows, pigs and chickens.

Katrina Wagner, a manager at the orchard and winery business, said the business received about 500 pumpkins last year and has decided to try for 500 pumpkins again this year.

"We're collecting pumpkins so that they don't go to the landfill," said Wagner. "People can drop them off and we just take them out, smash them up a little bit and then send them out to the cows, the pigs and the chickens."

For every pumpkin brought to the farm, Wagner said the business will be donating a pound of ground beef to local food banks.

"We had a great apple picking season, so we wanted to give back to the community," she added.

Vanderlaand The Barnyard Zoo in Winchester, Ont., is also collecting pumpkins for animal feed at certain times throughout the week.

In a Facebook post, the farm said it would accept carved pumpkins, so long as they're still in a "useable condition" as they will be fed to their animals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 1, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Noushin Ziafati, The Canadian Press

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