an old pumpkin, smashed and broken

Old Pumpkin Options

How to discard your Halloween pumpkins

You might be wondering what to do with your old jack-o-lantern now that November is here. The trick-or-treaters have come and gone, and you may be tempted to throw the softening gourd into the bright green yard waste cart, but please don't!  Pumpkins should not go in your yard waste cart because the Raleigh Yard Waste Center cannot process food waste on a large scale, however, there are other ways to dispose of them that will benefit your garden long after Halloween.    

Jack-o-lanterns make excellent additions to your home compost but be sure to remove any candle wax or glitter that won't degrade. Smash the pumpkin before tossing it in the compost and it will decay quickly and create nutrient-rich soil.  If your pumpkin is uncarved, you can scoop out the pulp to make a pie or roast the seeds for a nutritious snack. You can then use the pumpkin as a biodegradable pot by filling it with soil and a plant!  

If home composting or reuse is not an option, please toss your pumpkin in your dark green trash cart rather than your yard waste cart.



Lead Department:
Solid Waste Services