Don't Throw Them Away: What to Do With Your Pumpkins After Halloween

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Halloween has come and gone, but what should you do with the festively carved pumpkins at your home?

Experts say throwing them out isn't the best course of action, at least for the environment.

“In a landfill, pumpkins and other organic materials are buried and rot without oxygen, which creates the potent greenhouse gas methane,” Chris Enroth, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, said in a statement on the university's website.

There are plenty of options for people looking to dispose of their pumpkins another way in the Chicago area.

Medieval Times said it is accepting jack-o-lantern donations through Thursday and offering a 25% off coupon to those who bring a pumpkin in.

Donations can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday this week. Those who drop off a pumpkin will receive the coupon, which is valid for all shows through the end of December.

“Our Knights will be using the pumpkins for our knights’ combat training in anticipation of National Pumpkin Destruction Day," the venue said.

There are a number of pumpkin collection events in Lake County, which encourages residents each year to "divert pumpkins from landfills" and instead drop-off jack-o-lanterns to be composted. 

A full list of locations can be found here.

Will County will also host a pumpkin recycling program this week and students from Lewis University will catapult them. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday at Lewis University's south parking lot. Details here.

Kane County will be hosting a free recycling event in Geneva from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Other events around the Chicago area can be found here.

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