Halloween jack-o-lantern

Halloween has come and gone, and you’re probably ready to get out the Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations. But what to do with the jack-o’-lantern that has lit up your balcony for the past week?

One popular option is compost, as pumpkins are organic waste like any other fruit or vegetable.

First, remove any candles or non-organic decorations, as well as any remaining seeds so you won’t start growing new pumpkins in the pile.

But what if you don’t have access to a compost bin in your backyard? In Bluemont, Virginia, the week after Halloween is Pumpkin Chunkin’ time at Great Country Farms. Residents can bring in a pumpkin to be smashed or dropped from various heights, and you can even smash it yourself. The smashed pumpkins are a yummy treat for the pigs and cows, and any leftovers get composted. For 2021, Pumpkin Chunkin’ is November 1, 2, 6, and 7.

In Glencoe, Illinois, the laws of physics participate in the composting process. The village holds an annual Pumpkin Smash and Composting event. Local residents can bring their pumpkins to the local community garden to smash them. The leftovers are composted for the garden. The festivities are on November 6 this year.

While you may not have access to a unique pumpkin disposal event, it’s likely you’ll be able to find a yard waste facility nearby that accepts them.

Feature image by Yuri_B from Pixabay. Originally published on Nov. 2, 2009, this article was updated in August 2021. 

By Trey Granger

Trey Granger is a former senior waste stream analyst for Earth911.