Compost dumpster for fall decorations at Heron Park

By Ally Lanasa, contributor

(October 29, 2020) The City of Berlin is working with Go Green OC and JDog Junk Removal & Hauling to offer pumpkin, corn stalk and hay bale composting from November 1st to 7th.

PHOTO COURTESY GO GREEN OC
Berliners are asked to throw away organic Halloween decorations such as pumpkins, hay bales and corn stalks in a compost bin in Heron Park from November 1st to 7th.

“Last year we made ‘pumpkins for pigs’,” said Joshua Chamberlain, founder of Go Green OC. “Now that we’ve laid the foundation for our farm, it’s only natural to accept anything that can be composted.”

For the first annual Let’s Compost Your Halloween Decorations Event, individuals are encouraged to write their email addresses on pumpkins. If the dumpster is full by November 7th, a winner will be selected for a $ 25 gift card for Island Creamery on North Main Street in Berlin.

Dispose of natural fall decorations in the 16 yard JDog Junk Removal & Hauling dumpster in Heron Park, 10009 Old Ocean City Boulevard.

Artificial decorations are not accepted.

“We will bring the organic waste to our Go Green OC compost farm,” said Chamberlain. “From there, the waste is broken down over the course of six months and converted into healthy compost. Unfortunately we don’t sell the compost. However, we have come up with some creative ways to use the compost in 2021 that we will share in the spring. “

The city of Berlin has been working with Go Green OC for a number of years, said Ivy Wells, the city’s director of economic and community development.

“It’s always important for us to promote sustainability,” said Wells.

She added that their first collaborative effort was during Bike Week last year when Berlin began offering reusable bags.

“Our partnership includes creating a space and a campaign to encourage people to bring their pumpkins, corn stalks, and hay bales to that … special dumpster that will be used for this,” Wells said. “They shouldn’t be thrown into the recycling bins that already exist. They just have to be thrown in that dumpster. It will have a banner on the front. “

Go Green OC started through a GoFundMe account last year.

Chamberlain said Go Green OC diverted over 12,190 pounds of food waste in 2020.

“This was the first year we composted year-round with The Hobbit restaurant,” Chamberlain said. “Covid really messed us up and delayed the opening of the Hobbit by two months. Our goal was 15,000 [pounds]. Next year we will add more restaurants with a goal of 100,000 [pounds] (about 33 tons). “

For folks who can’t make it to the dumpster next week, Chamberlain recommends properly composting pumpkins in the backyard.

“Smash it with a hammer and cover it with leaves,” he said. “Have the kids come to you and mark Go Green OC. Make sure you record in slow motion. Remember, landfilled pumpkins release methane gas, which is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide. “

On November 4th there will also be an autumn garbage collection for garbage customers on Tuesday or Wednesday.

The garbage collection in autumn for garbage customers on Thursday is planned for November 18th.

City Administrator Jeff Fleetwood said the collection is for household items that would normally go to the Worcester County landfill, including furniture, mattresses, appliances and electronics.

“The composting bin is a one-off offering and is for things that can be composted,” said Fleetwood.

Wells added that she supports a composting site in town, but she wants to see how successful the first composting event is.

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