ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County’s Department of Public Works’ Bureau of Environmental Services has launched a new “Harvest Heap” compost collection program in an effort to reduce the number of pumpkins that end up as landfill waste each fall. It is estimated that Americans toss out more than one billion pounds of pumpkin with their trash each year. 

On average, approximately 30 percent of our residents' curbside trash is made up of easily compostable food scraps and other organics. By taking advantage of one of the pumpkin collection options offered by our Bureau of Environmental Services, we can all do our part to divert pumpkins from the landfill and give them new life.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

Beginning Tuesday, November 2nd and continuing through Saturday, November 7th, pumpkins may be dropped off at Clark’s Elioak Farm, located at 10500 Clarksville Pike in Ellicott City, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition, pumpkins (and other food scraps) are always accepted at the Alpha Ridge Landfill's Residents’ Convenience Center, open Monday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. When at the Center, look for the Hungry Green Hippo food scrap drop-off container.

Howard County residents participating in the County’s curbside Feed The Green Bin food scrap collection program can set their pumpkins out on their regular food scrap collection day. 

Carved, uncarved and painted pumpkins are acceptable (water-based paints are preferred), and all decorations, including candles, lights, plastic bags, etc. must be removed before composting.

Additionally, for residents interested in learning more about backyard composting, the Bureau of Environmental Services and the University of Maryland Master Gardeners will be hosting two special composting demonstrations next month. Residents who attend the demonstrations may bring their pumpkins to drop off, while taking home a free backyard compost bin. 

  • Saturday, November 6th, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Savage Park, 8400 Fair Street in Savage
  • Saturday, November 20th, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at Centennial Park, 10000 Clarksville Pike in Ellicott City

All pumpkins collected will be composted at the Alpha Ridge Landfill’s Composting Facility. The County’s HoCoGro STA-Certified Compost is available for purchase at the Wood Waste Area.

Media Contacts
Gina Van De Walle, Recycling Coordinator

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