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Pumpkin Smash Saturday- Chicago Composting Events 2021

NOTE: This article has been archived and may not be up to date.

November 6th, the first Saturday after Halloween is Pumpkin Smash day! Across Chicagoland, pumpkin lovers gather to bid their gourds goodbye and return them to the soil as compost, providing some relief to our landfills. 

Compost is a natural soil fortifier used by farmers and gardeners to grow healthier plants. Keeping pumpkins out of the landfill also reduces our overall greenhouse gas emissions; landfills are the nation's 3rd largest producer of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas.  

The Chicago Department of Streets and Sanitation is happy to promote this year's Pumpkin Smash Event, sponsored by University of Illinois Extension, Scarce and Edgewater Environmental Coalition. 

Fun fact: Illinois is the nation's pumpkin capital, producing more pounds of pumpkins than the next 5 states combined.

Don't trash 'em, smash 'em! 

Visit one of these seven Chicago neighborhood events Saturday, November 6th to compost your pumpkins or smash them if you dare... MUAHHAHAHAHA!   Please remove all decorations including candles before you arrive.  Small amounts of water-based paints are okay. 

  • Plant Chicago - 4459 S. Marshfield Ave. (10 AM - 2 PM)

  • Gary Comer Youth Center Chicago (farm lot across street) - 7200 S. Ingleside Ave. (10 AM - 2 PM)

  • Vocational Academy High School - 2100 E. 87th St. (10 AM - 2 PM)  

  • Lake View High School - 4015 N. Ashland Ave. (10 AM - 2 PM)  

  • Chicago High School for Agriculture - 3857 W. 111th St. (10 AM - 2 PM)  

  • Guild Row - 3130 N. Rockwell St (Rockwell Garden) (11 AM - 3 PM)

  • Edgewater Environmental Coalition & the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (Next to Chicago Fire Dept Parking lot) - 6040 N. Clark St  (12 PM - 4 PM)

If you subscribe to a  compost pick-up service, we recommend checking with your provider for special pumpkin composting instructions, or just bringing them to a Pumpkin Smash.  

Visit SCARCE, the awesome local non-profit and originators of the Pumpkin Smash, for events outside of Chicago. 

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