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The original item was published from 10/26/2021 10:23:00 PM to 10/26/2021 10:29:30 PM.

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Posted on: October 26, 2021

[ARCHIVED] Pumpkin Re-Cycling


The Pumpkin Smash is an annual effort by communities to divert pumpkins from landfills by providing locations for residents to drop-off jack-o-lanterns to be composted. It is held each year the Saturday after Halloween.  Don’t Trash it, Smash it!

Locations collect pumpkins on Saturday, November 6th unless otherwise specified.

Note Health & Safety Precautions: All attendees must wear a mask over their nose and mouth and practice social distancing. Please do not attend if you or someone in your household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Thank you for ensuring this is a safe event!

Locations near Oak Brook

Elmhurst – Public Works Facility
 985 S Riverside Dr.
 Elmhurst Illinois 60126
 Sponsored By: City of Elmhurst
 Hours: Saturday, November 6th 9 AM-12 PM

Lombard Common (East Parking Lot)
 433 E St Charles Rd.
 Lombard Illinois 60148
 Sponsored By: Lombard Junior Women's Club, Lombard Park District, Village of Lombard, and Waste Management
 Hours: Saturday, November 6th 9 AM-12 PM

Villa Park Village Hall (back)
 20 S. Ardmore
 Villa Park Illinois 60181
 Sponsored By: Villa Park Environmental Concerns Commission
 Hours: Saturday, November 6th 9 AM-12 PM

The 2020 Pumpkin Smash composted over 150 tons of pumpkins. Help us compost more in 2021! On November 6th, you can compost your pumpkin at one of several locations in the Chicago area. 

SCARCE and the cities of Wheaton and Elmhurst hosted the first pumpkin collections in 2014, diverting 9.31 tons of pumpkins from landfills and helping to improve composting laws in Illinois. By 2016 the Pumpkin Smash grew to over 31 sites across the state.

 Why Keep Pumpkins Out of the Landfill?

  • Composting is nature’s way of recycling with many benefits:
  • Avoids landfill greenhouse gas emissions from decomposing organics (currently, landfills are the 3rd largest producers of methane in the U.S.!)
  • Produces a useful, nutrient-dense soil amendment
  • Pumpkins are 90% water which is great for our soil, not so good in our landfills

Since 2014 the Pumpkin Smash has…

  • Composted over 538 tons of pumpkins
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 410 tons of CO2e
  • Diverted 34,230 gallons of water from landfills

Help Compost More Pumpkins - Get Involved

Please visit for more details.

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