UMD students gather pumpkins for annual compost drive

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UMD students from sustainability courses offered on campus, are collecting leftover pumpkins from Halloween. This is the third year, Assistant Professor Teresa Bertossi’s Sustainable Food Systems class are gathering pumpkins used for the compost.

The overall goal is to keep pumpkins out of the landfill. The compost will help UMD’s Land Lab efforts near the campus. The students gathering the pumpkins, are not only gathering them from students at UMD.

There are plenty of reasons why composting is not only great for the environment, but also for agriculture. Composting can be done with biodegradable products and food such as fruits, vegetables, egg shells, and coffee grounds. Foods that cannot be composted are dairy products, oils, and meats.

Anyone in the area can donate their leftover pumpkin. However, there are some requirements for the pumpkins for the compost. First, the students are not accepting any pumpkins that have paint, because that can harm the soil. Also it’s important to remove the candle from the pumpkin if it was a Jack-o-Lantern.

Chris Stevens, the operation manager of UMD’s Facility Management, explained how UMD’s compost efforts is easy and helpful to everyone. “We’re here at the university to educate our students and our community. And this is just a nice real world type of experience. It’s a team effort and it’s important for us to do that.” Stevens said.

People can drop off their pumpkins from Wednesday, November 2nd until Friday, November 4th in Maroon Lot B and the Bagley white lot.

For more information about other ways you can help composting you can look at UMD’s website here

For more information about composting pumpkins you look here