SACRAMENTO — Halloween is officially over, but for those itching to throw their pumpkins in the trash, it’s not too soon.
Not only is it bad for the environment if your pumpkin ends up in a landfill, you may be depriving your neighbors of a tasty treat.
A West Sacramento pet pig and his owner are reminding neighbors that it’s possible to breathe new life into pumpkins even after spooky season.
Heather Moore, who owns Annabelle the pig, said, “It’s not rotting. It’s better to put it to good use than just throw it away.”
The day after Halloween, when all the holiday leftovers become snacks, Annabelle develops an appetite.
“Why would you throw a perfectly delicious pumpkin in the trash when there are animals that will eat it?” Moore asked.
Annabelle is helping the environment with every bite of pumpkin.
Many people don’t know that when pumpkins are thrown in the trash, greenhouse gases are emitted from discarded gourds. Scientists say this is an environmental scare and is causing climate change.
“Because they don’t contain air, they could help produce methane from landfills,” said Jessa David with the City of Sacramento’s Recycling and Solid Waste Department.
David said good options are for neighbors to bury the pumpkins, let them rot in their yards or compost them.
“All of our food waste goes into the green bin so it can be recycled as compost. That includes pumpkins, even the cut-outs. Ornaments and candles. Please remove all of them,” David said.
That’s the easy way. Recycle and compost. However, you can also ring the dinner bell for local farm animals like Annabelle.
“I can’t stand humans eating it, but I could listen to her munching on pumpkins all day long,” Moore said with a laugh.
That’s why, for the past three years, she’s been asking her neighbors on social media for uncarved pumpkins that are reaching the end of their lifespans.
She helps them find a new destiny as Annabelle serves as an all-you-can-eat buffet.
“As long as it brings joy to people and makes her happy, I’m going to keep doing it,” Moore said.
Annabelle got about 80 pumpkins last year. This was enough to freeze for later consumption and donate to other nearby animals looking for a tasty treat.
If you would like to donate a pumpkin to Annabelle, please contact Heather Moore on Facebook.
Click here to learn more about how to recycle organic materials from your home.