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Halloween is over, and it’s time to smash those pumpkins.

Saturday, November 2nd, 44 locations in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs are hosting pumpkin smashing events to recycle the gourds into compost fertilizer for local farms and gardens.

Pumpkins turn into methane gas, which is harmful to the environment, when they are sent to landfills. By composting them, the water and other nutrients can be reused and not wasted.

The program was started by SCARCE, and this is the sixth year that the organization is hosting this event. SCARCE is an environmental education non-profit dedicated to creating sustainable communities through programs for schools and organizations.

People can drive up to a location to turn in their rotting pumpkins. They are taken by local scouting groups and high school clubs who volunteer to smash the pumpkins into compostable material.

Some locations are providing other services; Lewis University is also holding a paper shredding and electronics recycling event.

Pumpkins should be free of candles, stickers or other plastics before they are turned in. Those products cannot be composted.

Locations can be found at Most of the events are taking place during the morning hours between 9am and noon.

WGN Radio’s Jen DeSalvo reports:

Pumpkin Smash (SCARCE)