Pumpkin Smash

Thank you to all Chicago residents who participated in the Pumpkin Smash events held on Saturday, November 4, 2023!

We are thrilled to report that 26.5 tons of pumpkins were diverted from landfills, nearly 9 tons more than last year. And what a fun time we all had doing it!

Many thanks to all the community partners who hosted events with the City this year, as well as the City's planning partners, University of Illinois Extension: Cook County and SCARCE.

A Pumpkin Smash is a fun community effort to keep pumpkins out of landfills and turn them into compost. Diverting pumpkins from the general waste stream help prevent greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. And, composting pumpkins recycles their nutrients, which can be used to nourish soil. 

We look forward to seeing you all again in 2024!

Below are the 2023 locations. 

  • Plant Chicago, 4459 S Marshfield Ave (10 am – 2 pm) 
  • Comer Crops Youth Farm, 7200 S Ingleside Ave (10 am – 2 pm) 
  • Morton School of Excellence, 431 N Troy St (10 am – 2 pm) 
  • Disney II Magnet School, 3815 N Kedvale Ave (10 am – 2 pm) 
  • George Washington High School, 3535 E 114th St (10 am – 2 pm) 
  • Solorio Academy High School, 5400 S St. Louis Ave (10 am – 2 pm) 
  • Coonley Elementary School, 4046 N Leavitt St (10 am – 2 pm) Hosted by the 47th Ward Office 
  • Carl von Linné Elementary School, 3221 N Sacramento Ave (10 am – 2 pm) 
  • Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences, 3857 W 111th St (10 am – 2 pm) 
  • Chicago Fire Station 70, 6040 N Clark St (This site only: 12 pm – 4 pm) Hosted by the Edgewater Environmental Coalition

Visit www.scarce.org/pumpkins to find additional locations throughout Chicagoland. 

Download 2023 Pumpkin Smash Flyer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Please remove all candles, decorations, and paint from your pumpkins before you arrive.

DSS will take them to a local composting facility where they will be composted.

When pumpkins and other organic materials decompose in a landfill, the potent greenhouse gas methane is produced. By keeping pumpkins out of the landfill, you are reducing greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Learn more about methane as a greenhouse gas from the US EPA 

Compost is a valuable, earthy-smelling soil amendment loaded with recycled nutrients and teeming with beneficial microorganisms that can be used to build healthy soil. Learn more about the benefits of composting from the US EPA. 

By composting your pumpkins, you are helping meet Chicago’s Climate Action Plan and Waste Strategy goals.