HOUSTON (KIAH) – Don’t throw that Jack-o-lantern into the trash! The City of Houston has a safe and environmentally friendly way to get rid of your old pumpkins now that Halloween is over.

You can take your pumpkins to be dropped off from 8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday at the city’s reuse warehouse at 9003 N. Main St. The city asks that you remove all decorations from the pumpkin prior to drop off.

Whole pumpkins, carved jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin seeds and guts will be accepted and composted into fertilizer. This is part of a free collection, which is a collaboration between Houston City Council member Sallie Alcorn and the city’s Solid Waste Management Department.

Pumpkins that are put in the trash simply just go to the landfill like other common household trash items. There is where they break down chemically, emitting amounts of methane gas. One pumpkin decomposing in a landfill may not seem like a ‘big’ problem… but, if you add up ALL the pumpkins purchased in the greater Houston area throughout the Halloween season, things can get smelly QUICK!

Composting is simply the natural process of recycling organic matter. The result is used as plant fertilizer that richen the soil to grow even more fruits, veggies, and flowers.