Houston

Houston residents encouraged to drop off old pumpkins at composting locations throughout the city

The composted pumpkins will be distributed across the city in public parks and other greenways.

Photo of pumpkins
Celeste Schurman
Pumpkins for sale at Westminster United Methodist Church in Houston

As the holiday season approaches, residents will be able to drop off their Halloween pumpkins this week as the City of Houston holds its third annual Pumpkin Composting Drop-off event. At-Large Council Member, Sallie Alcorn, said the city is happy to take in Houstonian's discarded pumpkins and fillings to recycle into compost.

"We want everybody to take their old jack-o-lanterns and everything that they used for Halloween pumpkin decorations so we can compost them into wonderful dirt instead of sending them off to the landfill."

The Pumpkin Composting Drop-Off event started three years ago when the city tried to tackle the increase in food waste that comes around the holidays. They decided to focus on taking in pumpkins the following year after they noticed that they'd received more pumpkins than any other item. While the city is unsure how many pumpkins will be dropped off this season, they're hoping to exceed last year's numbers.

"We were stunned when we received about 10,000 pounds of pumpkins last year. That's 10,000 pounds we diverted from a landfill. If we can recycle and compost to divert our food waste, we'll really have very little trash go into the landfill."

The composted pumpkins will be distributed across the city in public parks and other greenways. Residents can leave their pumpkins at the City's Reuse Warehouse at 9003 North Main Street, Houston, Texas 7702 on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. from Nov. 1-8.

Council Member Alcorn asks for residents to please remove any costumes or non-pumpkin decorations before drop off so they can go straight to compost.