Residents can recycle pumpkins for green energy.
Union County residents can put their jack-o’-lanterns to good use after Halloween by participating in Union County’s Pumpkin Recycling Program, which returns this November after a big hit last year.
“The Pumpkin Recycling Program is an easy and convenient way for Union County residents to support the community’s renewable energy industry,” said County Commissioner Rebecca Williams. “The program also raises awareness of new opportunities to recycle food waste instead of dumping it in landfills and incinerators.”
There are three locations where residents drop off their pumpkins. Residents of any municipality in Union County can use any of these locations, regardless of where they are from.
Residents can drop off the program at any of three designated recycling locations from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm beginning Tuesday, November 1st.
The program runs Monday through Friday, excluding public holidays, through the end of November. The last day to deliver pumpkins is November 28th (Monday).
Drop-off locations are:
- 101 Berkeley Avenue, Berkeley Heights (Berkeley Heights Public Works Authority, next to the new Municipal Estate)
- 523 Trenton Avenue in Elizabeth (Elizabeth Municipal Recycling Yard)
- 1300 Lamberts Mill Road in Westfield (Westfield Conservation Center)
Only pumpkins are accepted at these places. No other food waste will be accepted. Candles and decorations must be removed.
The pumpkin recycling program sends pumpkins to Elizabeth’s processing facility, which is run by a waste management company. The company’s proprietary recycling system converts food waste into an organic slurry. It is used in municipal wastewater treatment plants to increase production of biogas and other renewable products.
Food waste is a global problem, contributing to excessive greenhouse gas emissions and imposing waste disposal costs on local governments. By some estimates, more than 52 million tons of food is wasted each year in the United States alone.
Traditionally, food waste was sent to landfills or incinerated at waste-to-energy facilities. A new organic recycling system offers a more sustainable way to manage food waste.
Union County residents can also reduce food waste by using up leftovers, donating unused shelf items to food banks before they expire, and starting a compost pile of vegetable scraps. increase.
For more information on all Union County recycling programs and locations, visit the Recycling Planning Office’s website at ucnj.org/recycle or call the Union County Recycling Hotline at 908-654-9889.
Download the free Recycle Coach mobile app to receive schedule alerts and stay up-to-date on both Union County’s countywide and Union Local recycling programs.
Quick links to all Union County environmental programs and activities, including guidance on composting at home, are available at The Green Connection (ucnj.org/green-connection).
For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccinations, free testing and other support services, please visit: ucnj.org/covid19General information about COVID-19 is available from the New Jersey Department of Health (nj.gov/health).