Pumpkin Rescue at Stokes Wood
Every year about 42% of people in the UK buy pumpkins but the flesh is eaten in only 33% of those pumpkins that are carved to make lanterns. 18.000 tonnes of pumpkins are thrown away with 25% of these being thrown into the waste bin, 20% go onto the food waste collection, with only 19% being composted.
To encourage people to reduce their waste Stokes Wood allotments have held their annual Pumpkin Rescue and Smash event to reduce the number being sent to landfill where methane is produced during decomposition. This year the event was more topical than usual as it coincided with COP26 where future methane reduction was being promised.
There was a larger than expected response with over two hundred pumpkins being donated by local schools, pubs and individuals to be smashed and composted on the allotment community composting plot. The site was opened to local families invited to smash the pumpkins with pumpkin pieces being layered into four of our pallet bins and eight of our plastic home composting bins as well as a Hotbin. The resultant compost will be used by Society members as a mulch on their plots.
In the interest of safety younger children where restricted to using wood smashing tools but this did not prevent them from splashing pumpkin over themselves, their parents and anything that did not move quickly enough. For the first time this year about eighty whole pumpkins were delivered mixed with those that had been carved, so next year we will operate a separate “food” stream for whole pumpkins that will offered to community fridges and food banks.