How to safely dispose of your Jack O’ lantern when Halloween is done

Comox Strathcona Waste Management is reminding residents of the Comox Valley Regional District and the Strathcona Regional District to dispose of their pumpkins in an environmentally responsible manner this Halloween.

When a pumpkin ends up in the landfill it does not break down as it would in a compost pile. The pumpkins decompose without oxygen, producing leachate and methane gas which is harmful to the environment.

You can be part of the solution this Halloween by keeping Jack and his pumpkin buddies out of the landfill. One option is to attend the 10th annual Pumpkin Smash at the Comox Strathcona Waste Management compost education centre in Campbell River. This is a free, fun-filled family event which keeps thousands of kilograms of pumpkin out of our landfills.  These smashed pumpkins will become compost instead of harmful waste. Participants are reminded to remove all objects such as candles and tea lights from their pumpkins prior to smashing.

Event Details

Date:  Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6, 2016
Time:  11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Location: Strathcona Gardens recreation complex, 225 S. Dogwood, Campbell River
Cost: Free. Donations of non-perishable food items for the Campbell River food bank will be accepted.

Other ways to dispose of Halloween pumpkins

There are some other ways that you can help keep Jack O’ lanterns out of the trash. Chop them up into thumb-sized pieces and put the pieces into a backyard composter.  Or put pieces of pumpkin in a vermicompost bin – a kitchen-based worm bin. This way you will get nutrient-rich compost that you can use to grow next year’s pumpkins.

Another option for many residents living in the Village of Cumberland and the Town of Comox is to cut up your pumpkin and put it out for pick-up in the organics curbside collection program. 

Share your efforts 

Capture your seasonal sustainability efforts with a photo or video and share them with us on social media #pumpkinsmash or #zerowastepumpkin. For more information on composting and other solid waste programs, visit

About Comox Strathcona Waste Management

The Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) service is an extended function of the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and is responsible for two regional waste management centres that serve the Comox Valley and Campbell River, as well as a range of transfer stations and smaller waste-handling and recycling facilities for the electoral areas of the CVRD and the Strathcona Regional District. The CSWM service manages over 100,000 tonnes of waste and recycled material and oversees a number of diversion and education programs. 

Media contact:         
Elaine Jansen
Comox Strathcona Waste Management
Tel: 250-287-1625 (Campbell River)