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Springfield Yardwaste Recycling Center offers free disposal of unwanted pumpkins

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 4:43 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Soon pumpkins and cornstalks will be replaced with garland and Christmas trees. The city of Springfield wants to remind you before you throw them away there’s an environmentally friendly way to dispose of your festive decorations.

Sustainability and Market Development Coordinator Ashley Krug said when pumpkins are not thrown away properly they’ll end up in a landfill. Krug said there’s more than 2 billion pumpkins purchased each year in the United States and 65% of them end up in a landfill.

”When those items enter the anaerobic conditions of a landfill, that means it’s without air because we bury trash. That actually creates greenhouse gases like methane instead of just releasing the carbon that they accumulate during the lifetime,” said Krug. “When we think about methane, methane is a really powerful greenhouse gas. We want to make sure that we’re doing the right things with those and turning those into compost actually returns that carbon to the soil.”

Instead of your unwanted, organic decorations going to a landfill, they’re going towards the YRC compost.

”Compost is one of those amazing things we can use in our yards and gardens,” said Krug. It help us control water and return nutrients to our soil, so you have better soil for your tomatoes next summer.”

Organic items including pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks, hay bales and organic components of wreaths and garlands are accepted. Recyclers are advised to place these items in the leaf and grass bin, remembering to remove any non-organic decorations. Collected organic items will be processed and turned into compost, available for purchase at all City recycling center locations.

Locations:

The Yardwaste Recycling Center - The City’s Yardwaste Recycling Center (YRC), located at 3790 S. Farm Road 119, is the ideal location for most yardwaste disposal. The YRC accepts cut grass and leaves, as well as brush and limbs up to 4-feet-long and 6 inches in diameter. The YRC is the only location where residential brush in pickup loads and larger is accepted. Large brush and limb disposal incur a fee dependent on load size. Fees for an average car or pickup load or trailer under 8 feet are $8. For full information on brush disposal fees, click here.

The YRC processes grass clippings, leaves and other organics into compost and also grinds woody materials for landscaping mulch. These products are available for sale in bulk at the YRC and by bag at all recycling center locations.

Franklin Avenue & Lone Pine Recycling Centers - The City accepts limited amounts of brush and yardwaste at the Franklin Avenue Recycling Center, 731 N. Franklin, and at the Lone Pine Recycling Center, 3020 S. Lone Pine. The centers accept small sticks, cut grass and leaves at a limit of 10 bags. Bundles of brush must be no more than 18 inches in diameter with branches less than two inches in diameter, cut no longer than four feet in length. Loads above the size and quantity limits will be referred to the YRC. Recycling is free, but suggested honor system fees and donations are encouraged at all facilities.

Visit springfieldmo.gov/recycling for information regarding hours of operation, locations and materials accepted or call the Recycling Hotline at 417-864-1904.

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