Pumpkin Smash

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Event Overview

The City of Elgin has held the annual Pumpkin Smash event since 2016. Pumpkin Smash is typically held on the first Saturday in November. 

This year the event will take place at the following locations:

  1. 250 North Grove Ave, Elgin, IL (southwest corner of North Grove Avenue and Kimball Street). 
  2. A second location is in the process of being confirmed.

From 2016 to 2022, Elgin has collected over 28.62 TONS of pumpkins

Help us grow this number - bring your pumpkins so they can be composted instead of haunting a landfill. 


This event is held in partnership with SCARCE, an organization that supports coordinated Pumpkin Smash events across the Chicago area. 

What is acceptable

  • PUMPKINS ONLY (gourds also accepted). 
  • Pumpkins must not have additional items on them such as: excess paint, glitter, plastic, googly eyes, candles, ears. These items contaminate the compost.

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Why compost pumpkins?

  • Illinois is one of the top pumpkin producers in the nation! This means it's extra important to make compost out of them, instead of sending them to a landfill where they will create greenhouse gases.
  • Pumpkins are full of nutrients that are good for the soil. Composting returns nutrients and water back to our earth.
  • Pumpkins are 90% water.
  • Decomposing organics makes landfills the 3rd largest producers of methane.

After Pumpkin Smash, Where Do The Pumpkins Go?

The city's waste hauler, Waste Management (WM), provides huge containers to collect the pumpkins in. After the Pumpkin Smash event, WM brings the containers full of pumpkins to a local composter, Midwest Compost. Midwest Compost turns the pumpkins into compost. Compost is a nutrient-rich soil amendment that's like magic for gardens, yards, and landscaping projects. You can even buy finished compost from Midwest Compost, or make it in your backyard with a backyard compost bin.