YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — As spooky season comes to a close and holiday bells start to ring, many are left wondering what to do with their pumpkins.
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) says leaving pumpkins out in forests and parks for animals is both dangerous to wildlife and illegal.
DCNR says it encourages wildlife to maintain their natural diet without depending on humans. The large food source would also draw a variety of species to it, potentially serving as a hub for disease transmission.
In addition to the impact on wildlife, leaving any type of matter behind, even organic, is considered litter, DCNR says.
So what can you do with your unwanted pumpkins?
If you’re a gardener, adding any pumpkin remnants to your garden beds or compost pile serves as an environmentally friendly way of disposal. They can even grow into vines to give you more pumpkins the following season. If you’re not looking to grow a patch of your own, remove the seeds before composting.
If you do not have a garden of your own, many counties have compost facilities. Another option is to see if any local farms would accept them as a special snack for their animals.