The Pumpkin Diversion Program

Once Halloween is over and your jack-o-lanterns are really getting scary, resist the urge to toss them in the trash – that would be a nightmare for the Resource Recovery Plant! Instead, take them to the drop-off bin on the north side of the plant, 110 Center Ave., for the pumpkin diversion program.

For more than 40 years, the Resource Recovery Plant has converted garbage from Story County into refuse derived fuel (RDF) for the Ames Power Plant. Dry, combustible trash makes the best RDF. Food waste and garbage with high moisture content creates challenges for producing high-quality fuel. Additionally, mushy vegetables like old pumpkins and gourds can contaminate dry garbage by creating a frightening mix that must be landfilled.

Decaying pumpkins, gourds, and harvest vegetables will be accepted on the north side of Resource Recovery through Friday, Nov. 10. This bin should not be used for plant material, colored corn, or other Halloween décor.

Since 1975, the Resource Recovery Plant has prevented hundreds of acres of farmland from being converted to landfill. By using RDF as a fuel source, the Resource Recovery Plant reduces the amount of natural gas required by the Ames Power Plant to create electricity.

Lori Hanson is the Garbage Goddess of Story County and she can provide details at 515.239.5137.

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