The city of Elgin will offer residents an opportunity to compost their pumpkins with a collection event from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 6. New this year, Elgin residents have two location options to come out and smash their pumpkins ⏤ the parking lot located at the southwest corner of Kimball Street and North Grove Avenue and Hawthorne Hill Nature Center.
“This event is an opportunity to keep a lot of organic matter out of the landfill where it doesn’t belong,” said Sustainability Analyst Mikala Larson. “Sustainable habits like composting reduce waste and every bit helps.”
Volunteers will be available to help transfer pumpkins from vehicles to the collection container. Participants also have the option to smash their pumpkins. Pumpkins and other gourds will be accepted, and all decorations and candles must be removed.
“If you prefer to let squirrels and wildlife eat your pumpkins, continue doing that. This event is for folks who are done with their pumpkins and gourds for the season, want them composted and want to have a little fun in the process,” said Elgin Sustainability Commission Chair Tom Armstrong.
Come for the pumpkin smash. Stay to explore downtown. Those who signup for emails from the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin and Sustainability Commission will be entered into a raffle. One lucky winner from each event site will win a $25 Downtown Elgin gift certificate, redeemable at more than 40 locations.
Elgin is among many communities participating in the free, one-day annual collection event. This is the sixth pumpkin collection event for Elgin. Each year, the Elgin Sustainability Commission has sponsored the event to help educate attendees on the value of composting.
In 2020, six tons of pumpkins were collected at the event ⏤ that’s up from 3.54 tons in 2019, 3.72 tons in 2018, 2.96 tons in 2017 and 0.87 tons in 2016.
The city of Elgin Sustainability Commission is hosting the event in cooperation with Waste Management, the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin and SCARCE (School & Community Assistance for Recycling & Composting Education).
The event is part of a collaborative effort across communities to both keep pumpkins out of landfills and also educate residents on the benefits of composting.
According to SCARCE’s website, there are several reasons to keep pumpkins out of the landfill.
- They are full of nutrients that are good for the soil.
- They are 90% water.
- Most of the pumpkins processed in the US are grown in Illinois – keep the water and nutrients here.
- Decomposing organics make landfills the third largest producers of methane.
- Composting returns nutrients and water back to the earth.
Event updates will be posted on the Pumpkin Composting Event Facebook page. For more information on this event, contact Elgin Sustainability Analyst Mikala Larson at 847-931-5615 or visit cityofelgin.org/pumpkinsmash.
SOURCE: city of Elgin news release