Pumpkin Composting

SWALCO Pumpkins for web page

What is the Pumpkin Smash?

The Pumpkin Smash is an annual effort by communities to divert pumpkins from landfills by providing locations for residents to drop-off jack-o-lanterns to be composted. It is held each year the soon after Halloween.  Don’t Trash it, Smash it!

Bring your pumpkins and gourds for composting, but please removed any candles, decor, or other materials.

See you at a Smash!


2023 Lake County Pumpkin Collection Event Locations

Prairieland LRS Disposal 
November 1 through November 30, 2023
Monday - Thursday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
1350 N. Old Rand Rd., Wauconda, IL 60084
Village of Libertyville - Adler Park Pool Parking Lot - Free Compost Give Away at this location
Saturday, November 11, 2023
9:00 am to 4:00 pm
1500 North Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville, IL 60048
Sponsored by: Sustain Libertyville Commission
Hawthorn Shopping Center - North Parking by AMC Theater
Saturday, November 4, 2023
9:00 am to 2:00 pm
122 Hawthorn Center, Vernon Hills, IL 60061
College of Lake County - Washington Street Entrance
Saturday, November 4, 2023
9:00 am to Noon
19351 West Washington Street, Grayslake, IL 60030
Sponsored by: CLC Sustainability Council
Village of Grayslake - Daniel Barry Skate Park Parking Lot 
Saturday, November 4, 2023
9:00 am to Noon
Across from Grayslake Library, 100 Library Lane, Grayslake, IL 60030
Sponsored by Grayslake Central High School Environmental Sciences, Village of Grayslake, and Grayslake Public Library
Village of Gurnee - Village Hall Parking Lot
Saturday, November 4, 2023
9:00 am to Noon
325 N. O’Plaine Road, Gurnee, IL 60031
Wauconda Township Office - Free Compost Giveaway at this location.
Saturday, November 4, 2023
Noon to 3:00 pm
505 W. Bonner Rd., Wauconda, IL 60084
Vernon Hills Park District - Maintenance Building
Friday, November 3, 2023
7:00 am to 4:00 pm
1400 Indianwood Drive, Vernon Hills, IL 60061
Park District of Highland Park - The Preserve of Highland Park Parking Lot
Friday, November 3, 2023
4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
1207 Park Ave. W., Highland Park, IL 60035
Zion Benton Township
Friday, November 3, 2023
4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
3901 21st Street, Zion, IL 60099
Sponsored by: Zion-Benton High School National Honor Society, Univ. of IL Extension, and V&L Landscaping.
Mundelein Park District - Keith Mione Community Park
Thursday, November 2, 2023
Noon to 7:00 pm
1401 North Midlothian Road, Mundelein, IL 60060
Please place your pumpkins and gourds (with all materials removed - candles, decor, etc.) in the back of the trucks parked in the Spray Park lot.  

Health & Safety Precautions: All attendees must wear a mask over their nose and mouth and practice social distancing. Please do not attend if you or someone in your household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Thank you for ensuring this is a safe event!

Host a Pumpkin Smash

Host a Pumpkin Smash in your town to help your neighbors green their Halloween. Download and review the guide to hosting your own Pumpkin Smash and then register your site.
Download the Guide

Register your site here

DON'T TRASH IT SMASH IT - Why Keep Pumpkins Out of the Landfill?

Composting is nature’s way of recycling with many benefits:

  • Avoids landfill greenhouse gas emissions from decomposing organics (currently, landfills are the 3rd largest producers of methane in the U.S.!)
  • Produces a useful, nutrient-dense soil amendment

Pumpkins are 90% water which is great for our soil, not so good in our landfills

More Information

For more information contact SWALCO at (847) 377-4950.