By Ally Lanasa, Staff Writer
(Oct. 29, 2020) The Town of Berlin is working with Go Green OC and JDog Junk Removal & Hauling to offer pumpkin, corn stalk and hay bale composting from Nov. 1-7.
“Last year, we did ‘Pumpkins for Pigs,’” said Joshua Chamberlain, founder of Go Green OC. “Now that we have the foundation started for our farm, it’s only natural to accept everything 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 fills by Nov. 7, a winner will be selected for a $25 gift card to Island Creamery on North Main Street in Berlin.
Dispose of natural fall decorations in the 16-yard JDog Junk Removal & Hauling dumpster at Heron Park, 10009 Old Ocean City Boulevard.
No manmade decorations will be accepted.
“We will be taking the organic waste to our Go Green OC compost farm,” Chamberlain said. “From there, the waste will break down over the course of six months and turn into healthy compost. Unfortunately, we are not selling the compost. However, we have come up with some creative ways of using the compost in 2021, which we will share in the spring.”
The town of Berlin has been working with Go Green OC for a few years, said Ivy Wells, the town’s economic and community development director.
“It’s always important for us to promote sustainability,” Wells said.
She added that their first joint effort occurred during Bike Week last year when Berlin re-useable bags were offered.
“What our partnership involves is us creating a space and a campaign to encourage people to bring their pumpkins, corn stalks and hay bales to this … special dumpster that is to be used for this,” Wells said. “They shouldn’t be dumped into the recycling dumpsters that are already there. They only need to be dumped into this dumpster. It will have a banner across the front of it.”
Go Green OC began last year through a GoFundMe account.
Chamberlain said Go Green OC has 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 opening the Hobbit by two months. Our goal was 15,000 [pounds]. Next year, we will be adding more restaurants with a goal of 100,000 [pounds] (around 33 tons).”
For people who can’t make it to the dumpster next week, Chamberlain advises how to properly compost pumpkins in the back yard.
“Smash it with a hammer and cover with leaves,” he said. “Have the kids join you and tag Go Green OC. Make sure you shoot in slow motion. Remember, landfilled pumpkins release methane gas which is 28 more times potent than carbon dioxide.”
There will also be a fall bulk waste collection for Tuesday or Wednesday trash customers on Nov. 4.
The fall bulk waste collection for Thursday trash customers is scheduled for Nov. 18.
Town 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 dumpster is a one-time offer and is for things that can be composted,” Fleetwood said.
Wells added that she supports having a composting location in town, but she wants to see how successful the first composting event is.