If your Halloween pumpkins are rotting on the front porch, here are some options to give them a second life and keep food waste out of the landfill.

Compost it at home

If you’ve got a compost bin or pile, cut up your pumpkins and throw them in. If you clean and dry the seeds, you can roast them for snacks, put them in animal feeders in your yard, or plant them next year. If you leave seeds in, you’ll likely have pumpkins growing in your compost bin next spring. If you don’t have a compost bin, find some helpful hints on setting one up at RecycleSpot.org.

Compost it at the Pumpkin Takeback

Take your pumpkins to the Lee’s Summit Resource Recovery Park, 2101 SE Hamblen Road, Lee’s Summit, MO:

  • 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. from Wednesday, November 3 to Friday, November 5
  • 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday, November 6.

Food Cycle KC will also be collecting pumpkins for composting from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, November 6 at the Shawnee City Hall, 1110 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, KS. There is a $2 per person fee.

Feed it to animals

Some local farms with livestock will gladly take your pumpkins. Pigs and hogs love them.

In Kansas City, you can take your pumpkins and gourds to Urbavore Urban Farm from 12 – 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 14, and join their annual Pumpkin Smashing Party at 5500 Bennington Ave., Kansas City, MO. While you’re feeding the hogs, the Wild Way Coffee and The Big Rip Brewing Company will be pouring drinks. The farmers ask that you bring your own reusable glasses/mugs, or there will be Urbavore hog mugs for sale.

The farm accepts pumpkins and other compostable food scraps throughout the year. Just pull into the front parking lot  and place food waste in the black dump trailer. Some food waste is fed to the farm hogs and some is composted and used on their farmland. For information on acceptable items, go to Urbavore Urban Farm.

Sign up for curbside pickup

If you’re looking for a residential curbside pick-up service for all of your compostable food waste in the Kansas City metro area, check out Compost Collective KC. If you need a commercial food composting service, contact Missouri Organic Recycling. Its’ Food Residual Environmental Diversion program composts more than 16,000 tons of food annually.

Watch the Great Pumpkin Smash

If you just want to watch animals smash and chomp on pumpkins, head to the Kansas City Zoo for the annual Great Pumpkin Smash from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, November 6 at 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, MO. Find the animal schedule at K.C. Zoo.

Find nationwide food compost options

If you are looking for a composting service in other cities, check for available services in your area here:

Photo: Urbavore Urban Farm