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Pumpkin Smash Compost Collections

Event Date(s)
Multiple Locations

Saturday, November 6, 2021, from 10 AM - 2 PM

This Halloween, don’t trash your pumpkins; smash them with University of Illinois Extension at sites located throughout Chicago.

Illinois is a top producer of pumpkins in the U.S., but when jack o’ lanterns is past their prime, many end up in the trash. In Cook County, 37% of landfill material is food waste, a major source of the greenhouse gas methane. In Chicago alone, over 500,000 tons of organic waste are sent to landfills annually. 

""pumpkin smash event happening throughout chicago on saturday november 6 2021 from 10 am - 2 pm

To divert pumpkins from landfills, Illinois Extension in Cook County is partnering to sponsor FIVE Chicago locations:

  • Plant Chicago 4459 S Marshfield Ave, Chicago, IL 60609 
  • Gary Comer Youth Center 7200 S Ingleside Ave, Chicago, IL 60619
  • Chicago Vocational Academy High School 2100 E 87th St, Chicago, IL 60617
  • Lake View High School 4015 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60613
  • Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences 3857 W 111th St, Chicago, IL 60655

All are welcome for this free family event happening rain or shine event. The bigger the better! Please, help us keep over 25 tons of compostables out of the landfill.  

Please wear a face mask and maintain social distancing.

Pumpkins must be free of candles, stickers, glitter, yarn, synthetic decorations. We can compost pumpkins decorated with water-based paints. 

There's pumpkin smashes all over this year. To find another one by you, see SCARCE.ORG/PUMPKINS


University of Illinois, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Local Extension Councils Cooperating. College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact Kathryn Pereira at or call (773) 233-2900. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time to meet your needs.