The following resources are meant for use by local governments interested in implementing special collections (e.g. pumpkin collections), curbside composting services, or other programs.

Pumpkin Collection Guide

Significant progress has been made in our state to facilitate collections of food scraps for composting. Illinois House Bill 437 – Organic Composting drop offs was signed into law by Governor Rauner in July 2015 allowing temporary and permanent sites to collect organics for composting. Thanks to this success, pumpkin collection can continue with the support of the Illinois government.

Why compost pumpkins?

  • They are full of nutrients that are good for the soil
  • They are 90% water.
  • Most of the pumpkins processed in the United States are grown in Illinois – keep the water and nutrients here!
  • Landfills are the 3rd largest producers of methane gas.  
This Pumpkin Collection Guide was created by SCARCE to help city administrators organize and hold a one-day pumpkin collection event after Halloween to collect Jack-o-Lanterns from residents. Contact SCARCE to get involved at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 630-545-9710.
Topics touched on in the Pumpkin Collection Guide include:
  • Event Coordination: Approval, Haulers, Pick-up
  • Promotion
  • Staffing & Volunteers
  • Day of the Event
  • Event Follow Up
  • IEPA Guidelines
  • Pumpkin Facts

Additional materials can be downloaded here: Full-page Flyer, Half-page Flyer, Mini Trick-or-Treat Flyers

Community Pumpkin Collections in Illinois

Please see this list of communitites participating on November 5th, 2016, on SCARCE's website.

Download this list of IL Communities which have hosted pumpkin collections in the past. If your community is interested in starting a new pumpkin collection, you might consider reaching out to nearby communities that have already done one for advice or lessons learned. Or perhaps you could combine your efforts with a neighboring town for efficiency.

This list will be updates at least once per year, in November, though revisions may take place more frequently based on suggestions received. Send suggested revisions to illinoiscomposts(at)

Curbside Collection Resources

Curbside Composting = Food Recycling. This post from the IFSC blog highlights the residential composting program in Glen Ellyn, IL, a community in DuPage County.