This is a one-day, annual event.
What is the Pumpkin Smash?
The Pumpkin Smash is an annual effort by communities in Illinois 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!
In 2014, Wheaton, Elmhurst and SCARCE hosted the first pumpkin recycling collections. This collection composted 9.31 tons of pumpkins and helped to improve composting laws in Illinois. By 2016 the Pumpkin Smash grew to over 31 sites across the state.
To date, the Pumpkin Smash has diverted over 163 tons of pumpkins from landfills.
Why Keep Pumpkins Out of the Landfill?
- Decomposing organics make landfills the 3rd largest producers of methane
- Composting returns nutrients and water back to the soil – pumpkins are nutrient rich!
- They are 90% water – good for our soil, bad for our landfills
- Most of the pumpkins processed in the US are grown in Illinois – keep the water and nutrients here!
Help Us Compost More Pumpkins:
Host a Pumpkin Smash in your town to help your neighbors green their Halloween. Download our quickstart guide below.
Everyone can help spread the word that pumpkins should not go into the garbage. Below are flyers and tools that make it easy for you.
Spread the Word!
- Print a flyer, and post it in your school, church, library, or any community bulletin board.
- Print Trick-or-Treat fliers, and hand out fliers with your candy.
- Share this page with your friends, business associates, and municipal leaders using email, facebook, or your favorite social media.
How to Host a Pumpkin Collection
Check out our guide to hosting your own Pumpkin Smash and sample fliers.
Download the Guide
This year’s fliers are fillable forms so you can simply type in your location’s details. We’ve also provided space at the bottom to add logos or acknowledgements for anyone helping to host your event. View a sample flier filled out.
Register your site today!
Find a participating location near you:
Stay tuned for the 2018 location map!
Most Pumpkin Smash locations will collect pumpkins from 9am-12pm on Saturday, Nov 3rd though there are some exceptions. Hours and dates are specified under each location.