The Springfield Yardwaste Recycling Center wants you to take a sledgehammer to your used jack-o-lantern.

As your carved pumpkins shrivel on the porch, don’t just toss them in the trash can.

You can have much more fun — like smashing them with a sledgehammer at the Springfield Yardwaste Recycling Center.

The center is hosting a customer appreciation event Nov. 2 at 3790 S. Farm Road 119. Free coffee, doughnuts and other giveaways will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with special pumpkin smashing activities from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to a news release from the city of Springfield.

Bring your pumpkins and gourds and choose their fate by either taking a swing with a sledgehammer, tossing it as far as you can for a chance at a prize, or from 1-2 p.m. share it with the sky drop pumpkin lift courtesy of the Springfield Fire Department, the news release stated.

The center accepts organic fall decorations until Nov. 30, including pumpkins, gourds, cornstalks and hay bales.The items are then processed and turned into compost, available for purchase at all Springfield recycling center locations, the press release stated.

WHY IS SMASHING PUMPKINS ENCOURAGED?

“It’s such a waste to pitch pumpkins in the trash,” said Ashley Krug, Sustainability and Market Development Coordinator via the news release. “They end up in the landfill, where they take years to fully break down when they could be processed into rich compost to help support next year’s harvest or give your lawn a boost. If you’re not going to turn it into a pie, add it to your own compost bin or come give it a smash!” 

Smash at your own risk. There is no limit to the number of pumpkins you can bring, the city stated.

More on fall yard waste disposal services, offered by the city’s Solid Waste division, per the city:  

Hours of operation for all centers are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday–Saturday. Open 1–5 p.m. Sundays beginning the first Sunday in November through the first Sunday in December. 

Saturdays are usually busy. Avoid the lines and get there before noon or visit any of the centers during their least busy times – Wednesdays and Thursdays before noon.

City ordinance prohibits placing yard waste in streets, storm drains, ditches, waterways or other drainage areas.

Placing yard waste in streets or drainage areas can cause flooding and waterway pollution.

Residents are encouraged to manage yardwaste responsibly by mulching or composting on their own, or disposing of it at city-managed facilities.

SPRINGFIELD NEWS-LEADER

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