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Host a Pumpkin Smash this Fall!

Aug 02 2021

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If you’ve been considering hosting a pumpkin smash, now is the time!

Halloween 2021 approaches and SCARCE wants to see even more pumpkins diverted from the landfill than in past years. (The 2020 Pumpkin Smash composted over 150 tons of pumpkins — that’s 300,000 pounds!)

Keeping pumpkins out of the landfill is immensely important for a variety of reasons. For starters, it keeps water from the decomposing fruits out of the landfill, which can collect harmful substances as it moves through the trash and leaches into our waterways. When composted, this water is instead kept clean and diverted back to the soil! Secondly, decomposing organics produce methane gas when sent to landfills — methane is a greenhouse gas more harmful to the environment than CO2. When composted, pumpkins will not create nearly as much methane because they have access to oxygen.

Pumpkin Smashes provide composting opportunities for people who do not have their own compost system at home. They’re also just a fun community event suited for the whole family! Last year we had 49 locations collecting pumpkins for composting, and we’re already growing! So far, new events hosted by the City of Itasca as well as the Lombard Park District & Lombard Junior Women’s Club will be added to our map. We are also anticipating new locations added to Chicago’s list, as Chicago’s Sustainability Department has included Pumpkin Smashes in their 2021 Waste Strategy.

If you’re interested in joining our effort to keep as many pumpkins out of the landfill as possible, host your own Pumpkin Smash! You can download our comprehensive guide HERE, but the basics steps are:
– pick your location
– obtain written approval from the city/county
– submit approval to your county’s recycling coordinator (30 days before the event)
– find a waste hauler to arrange composting
– Notify SCARCE that you’re participating – we’ll add you to our map!
– Promote your event with our fliers – or make your own!
– Recruit volunteers
– Follow up with SCARCE after the event with stats and pictures for us to share!

It’s as easy as that! Our website is full of information on the Pumpkin Smash, so check it out HERE for more ideas and information. We hope you’ll participate!

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