Pumpkins

Put in Organics/Compost

Pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns belong in an organics cart or bin unless they have been painted or otherwise decorated with other materials. In that case, they belong in the garbage.

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Pumpkins Are Food Scraps

Pumpkins — even ones that have been carved — can be disposed of with other food scraps. Composting food scraps prevents organic waste from ending up in a landfill and puts valuable nutrients back into soil.

Ways to Reuse

Feed the Chickens

When you’re done with jack-o’-lanterns, scrape out any candle wax and give them to a friend or neighbor with backyard chickens.

Compost in Place

Scrape out any leftover wax, then smash your old jack-o’-lanterns and let them decompose in your garden or backyard soil.

Make a Snack-o'-Lantern

When you’re done with your jack-o’-lantern, sprinkle some bird seed inside and set it somewhere you can watch birds and squirrels enjoy a snack.

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Save the Seeds

When you scoop out your pumpkin, save the seeds. You can roast them in the oven to eat or plant them in the spring.

Did You Know?

Pumpkin Waste Is Scary

Every year, over 1 billion pounds of pumpkins are thrown away in the U.S. — over half of the total pumpkins produced. According to the USDA, over 66,000 acres in the U.S. were used to grow pumpkins in 2020. That’s about 50,000 football fields of land growing pumpkins that we could use to grow food we actually want to eat instead.