Pumpkin Smash

Pumpkin Smash Cover Photo

The City of Elgin will be holding the annual Pumpkin Smash event on Saturday, November 6th, 2021 from 9am-noon. The event will take place at two locations this year: Hawthorne Hills Nature Center, and the southwest corner of N Grove Avenue and Kimball Street. 

Don't let your waste haunt you! Bring your pumpkins so they can be composted instead of landfilled. 

In 2020, we collected 6 TONS of pumpkins! Can we beat this number? Bring your pumpkins to either location to help us 'smash' this goal!

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

What is acceptable

We are accepting PUMPKINS ONLY (gourds also accepted). Pumpkins must not have additional items on them such as: excess paint, glitter, googly eyes, candles, ears. As the pumpkins are turned to compost, these items will contaminate the compost.

Why compost pumpkins?

Did you know? Illinois is the top pumpkin producer in the nation! This means it's extra important to 'recycle' your pumpkins and make compost out of them, instead of sending them to a landfill where they will be wasted and create greenhouse gases.

Other fun facts:

  • Pumpkins are full of nutrients that are good for the soil.
  • Pumpkins are 90% water.
  • Composting returns nutrients and water back to our earth.
  • Most pumpkins processed in the US are grown here in Illinois - keep the water and nutrients here.
  • 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, provides huge containers to collect the pumpkins in. After the Pumpkin Smash event, Waste Management will bring the containers full of pumpkins to a local composter, Midwest Compost. Midwest Compost will help the pumpkins turn into compost, which is a nutrient-rich soil amendment that's like magic for gardens, yards, and landscaping projects. You can even buy finished compost from Midwest!