October 26, 2021

After the trick-or-treaters clear away and Halloween is officially over, don’t toss your pumpkins in the trash! Instead, bring them to the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility during the third annual Pumpkin Drop-off, November 1-6, and help turn your pumpkins into compost. Open to the public and free of charge, this annual event diverts thousands of pounds of pumpkins from ending up in the landfill and harming the environment.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about 1.3 billion pounds of pumpkins in the United States end up in landfills each year. Pumpkins are 90% water and add tons of water to landfills. Furthermore, allowing food waste to break down in landfills releases methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

All pumpkins that are brought to the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility will be turned into compost, a valuable soil additive. Compost improves soil quality, reduces erosion and greenhouse gases, and decreases the need for chemical fertilizers. In fall 2020, 14,000 pounds of pumpkins were recycled at the SMSC Organics Recycling Facility. Each year, the facility prevents an average of 70,000 tons of organic waste from entering landfills, reducing the total amount in Twin Cities metro area landfills by 1.4%. Additionally, it eliminates more than 10,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from food waste annually.

Composting comes with many benefits for the environment. By participating in the free Pumpkin Drop-off Program, you can do your part to help keep pumpkins out of the landfill, and instead turn them into nutrient-rich compost.

From November 1-6, pumpkins—free of decorations and candles—will be accepted during the business hours listed below:

Free Pumpkin Drop-Off Hours | November 1-6

Monday-Thursday: 7am-7pm

Friday: 7am-5pm

Saturday: 8am-2pm