Once Halloween is over and you no longer need that jack-o'-lantern for decoration, there are several options to give your pumpkin a whole new life.


The Regional District Waste Reduction Office encourages you to toss your pumpkin in your backyard compost bin for great results come spring.


“Pumpkins are high in nitrogen, making them the perfect material to add to your backyard compost bin,” says Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart. “If you chop your pumpkin up into small pieces and add some fall leaves, it will break down just that much faster. Next spring you’ll have a great nutrient rich soil amendment to add to your garden or lawn,” says Stewart.


In Lake Country, the Warren Peace Bunny Sanctuary always appreciates donated pumpkins for feeding the animals. You can drop it off in the bin at the end of the driveway at 14320 Pelmewash Parkway. They will even compost it if you've left it as part of your seasonal outdoor display for a while and it's no longer suitable as food for the animals.


You can also put your pumpkin in your curbside yard waste cart for your next pickup. Check your Living Greener Calendar, the Recycle Coach app, or rdco.com/recycle for cart pick-up schedules in your area. Yard waste collection season runs until the end of December.


And of course, if your pumpkin is still in good condition and free of debris or damage from the elements, consider using it in baking or soup making. Pumpkins when toasted or baked can be rich in potassium and protein.


Another Halloween tip: while the candy wrappers your little ones bring home can’t go into your recycling cart, they can be returned to your nearest recycling depot as part of the flexible packaging recycling program.


For more information on composting, yard waste or recycling collection programs, visit rdco.com/recycle or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.