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2023 Pumpkin Smash | Crystal Lake

Drawn orange pumpkin with recycling signs for eyes on green grunge background
Event Date(s)
Event Time
McHenry County College, 8900 Northwest Hwy #14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012

Don’t trash pumpkins, smash them!

Jack-o’-lanterns live a short, scary life. That is unless they are catapulted, hurled, or whacked into a compost pile after spooky season is over.

Green your Halloween by recycling pumpkins at a Pumpkin Smash. Smashing pumpkins keeps them out of the landfill and turns them into compost. Organic food waste like pumpkins create the potent greenhouse gas methane as they decompose without oxygen in landfills.

To participate, collect pumpkins and other organic fall decorations from your home neighborhood, school, or workplace. Remove candles, ribbons, and other non-organic materials. Drop off the pumpkins at a smash site and they will be transported to a composting facility. Participants will have the opportunity to smash the pumpkins to break them down for composting.

No sign-up is needed for this free, family friendly event.

Find more about Pumpkin Smashes, including how to start composting and how to host a smash at

For more information, contact Sarah Farley at or (815) 338-3737.

Other Pumpkin Smashes

Lake County

  • 4-7pm November 3: Zion-Benton Township High School, 3901 21st St., Zion, IL 60099

Macomb County

  • 10am – 2pm November 4: Veteran’s Park, 1800 E. University Drive, Macomb, IL 61455

Kane County

  • 3-5pm, November 3: McCleary Elementary School, 1002 W. Illinois Ave. Aurora, IL 60506

McLean County

  • 10am – 2pm November 4: Rader Farms, 1312 Ropp Road, Normal, IL 61761

McHenry County

  • 10am – 3pm November 4: McHenry County College, 8900 Northwest Hwy #14, Crystal Lake, IL 60012


Cook County 

10am – 2pm, November 4

  • Chicago High School for Agricultural Science, 3857 W. 111th St, Chicago, IL 60655
  • Coonley Elementary School, 4046 N. Leavitt St. Chicago, IL 60618
  • Comer Crops Youth Farm, 7200 Ingleside Ave., Chicago, IL 60619
  • Disney II Magnet School, 3815 N. Kedvale Ave., Chicago, IL 60641
  • George Washington High School, 3535 E. 114th St. Chicago, IL 60617
  • Linné Elementary School, 3221 N. Sacramento Ave., Chicago, IL 60618
  • Morton School of Excellence, 431 N. Troy St. Chicago, IL 60612
  • Plant Chicago, 4459 S. Marshfield Ave, Chicago, IL 60609
  • Solorio High School, 5400 S. St Louis Ave. Chicago, IL 60618

9am – 2pm, November 4

  • First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights, 302 N Duton Ave., Arlington Heights, IL 60609
  • Lake Katherine Nature Center, 7402 Lake Katherine Dr., Palos Heights, IL 60463

Noon – 4pm, November 4

  • Chicago Fire Station 70, 6040 N. Clark St, Chicago IL 60660
If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact